Verizon may offer free WiFi to home broadband subs

Verizon Communications reportedly is preparing to offer its home broadband service customers free WiFi access at hotspots via an agreement with hotspot company Boingo. An offering could come as soon as summer, but it's unclear whether Verizon allow its customers to use the free service nationwide or just in their own regions, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The move comes as AT&T, which purchased hotspot provider Wayport last year, offers its broadband customers and some smartphone users free WiFi access. Meanwhile, cable operator Cablevision has launched a free WiFi network to its broadband customers in Long Island, N.Y.

In March, market research firm Dell'Oro Group said it believed Cablevision's boost in net subscriber additions in the fourth quarter 2008 was likely attributed to the cable company's rollout of WiFi in its service area. The operator reported a more than 70 percent sequential growth in net subscriber additions, which was higher than any other major cable operator in North America. 

More recently, AT&T said the number of WiFi users and connections dramatically increased on its 20,000-some domestic hotspots. The company said AT&T WiFi connections totaled 10.5 million in the first quarter 2009. That number was more than triple the 3.4 million connections in the first quarter of 2008, and more than half of AT&T's 20 million total WiFi connections for all of 2008.

For more:
- check out the WSJ (sub. req.)

Related articles:
AT&T: WiFi connections reached 10.5M in 1Q09
Dell'Oro: WiFi boosted Cablevision's subscriber adds
AT&T buys Wayport, increases WiFi presence
iPhone users finally get free WiFi on AT&T hotspots
AT&T gives all DSL subs free WiFi access
WiFi: More relevant than ever

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