AT&T to launch free WiFi experiment in September

If you are a frequent traveler with a laptop, tablet or even a smartphone, you are likely always on the lookout for a way to get some free WiFi access. More often than not, however, you are forced to pay a fee to link up to a solid WiFi connection and sometimes those prices can be expensive.

Now AT&T has confirmed it will begin an experiment that's designed to give users a free WiFi connection on their network, but as usual there's a catch. GigaOM reports that the service will involve the user watching a 30 second video ad for every 40 minutes he or she is connected to the WiFi network.

The experiment is slated to launch in September at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. While the service has been confirmed for laptop users, there's no word if tablet or smartphone owners will be able to access it as well.

AT&T is also expanding their WiFi network at the airport to include more terminal areas as well as the airport's parking garage. The company currently has 30,000 WiFi hotspot locations and charges $19.95 a month for people to access them or between $3.99 to $7.99 per session. AT&T's smartphone and internet customers already get access to the company's WiFi hotspots for free.

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9 Comments

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I'd do it. I can handle a 30-second ad to get 40 minutes of free internet access. Normally I use my cell USB stick (thru Verizon) on my laptop or turn on the hotspot on my iPhone 4 but that's only 3G which is fine for surfing but sucks if you need to download anything or try to stream video. Obviously the wireless they're providing would be much faster. It would be great if they also supported smartphones and tablets which I would think they would want to do since it'll double or triple the number of possible ad viewers.

Tim Dawg said,
Normally I use my cell USB stick (thru Verizon) on my laptop or turn on the hotspot on my iPhone 4 but that's only 3G which is fine for surfing but sucks if you need to download anything or try to stream video.

I've streamed netflix 720p over T-Mobile's 3G connection...works just fine.

Razorfolds said,

I've streamed netflix 720p over T-Mobile's 3G connection...works just fine.
Me too. Hell, I've streamed 1080p video on my tmobile connection perfectly fine!

30 seconds every 40 min?? that's not bad... I pay to use internet when travelling and this will save me some money

n_K said,
Haha, wonder how long that'll take to get bypassed...

Only Neowin users - that is .00001% of the public - will make an effort to bypass a video for a WiFi network. And the effort itself is fruitless if your time is worth more than the effort to make the bypass.