updated 02:15 pm EDT, Mon July 27, 2009
Boingo Verizon WiFi Deal
Boingo today expanded an already existing deal with Verizon to provide Wi-Fi for subscribers. The new agreement gives those using either Verizon's DSL or FiOS Internet services free Wi-Fi access on many of Boingo's hotspots, such as those at coffee shops and airports. Whether the deal extends to international hotspots, and when it will be fully ready, hasn't been clarified at the time, though the two companies will be linked for at least the next four years.
The agreement closes the gap between Verizon and AT&T in free wireless use. Last year, AT&T chose to expand its reach beyond Starbucks and a handful of other locations by acquiring Wayport, a provider that serves McDonald's and other non-traditional hotspots along with many of those that compete directly with Boingo.
News of the larger deal arrives just as Verizon is rumored to be a partner for an Apple tablet and may be expanding its cellular network on Apple's behalf. Verizon may be accelerating its 4G network to provide better data, and the Boingo service would give faster, free access more closely resembling 4G speeds in those areas where only 3G is available.