Just a few weeks ago, we told you about how Google has teamed up with Virgin America to offer free wi-fi for passengers this holiday season. While the wi-fi is officially free as of Tuesday morning, Google and Yahoo both have announced this morning that they will be offering more free wi-fi in places besides 35,000 feet above the Earth’s surface.
Google announced that it will be offering free wi-fi throughout 47 airports across the country. The company is working with Boingo Wireless, Advanced Wireless Group, Airport Marketing Income and other companies to provide the free wi-fi.
Google’s blog says, “This is one of our holiday gifts to our users, and, when you connect, we also hope that you’ll take the opportunity to try some of the latest Google products. Our hope is that being connected for a few extra minutes (or hours, if you’re delayed!) will help make things a bit easier.” Some of the airports included in getting the service are Seattle-Tacoma (SEA), Miami (MIA), Houston (HOU), and Boston (BOS). For a full list of all the airports offering free wi-fi this holiday season, you can check out Google’s Wi-Fi Holiday website.
While Google is offering this gift to all passengers, the company hopes that users will also help give a gift to one of three non-profit organizations. Google has said they they will match all the donations made up to $250,000. The airport network that raises the most money per passenger by Jan. 1, 2010, will receive a $15,000 check to donate to the nonprofit organization of their choice. Google is offering the free wi-fi service through Jan. 15, 2010, to all the airports except for Seattle and Burbank, which will have free wi-fi for years to come.
Yahoo also announced this morning that they teamed up with the Times Square Alliance to offer free wi-fi to visitors in New York’s Times Square. Yahoo hopes that with one of New York’s biggest tourist attractions, where more than 1 million people visit every day, will attract at least 500,000 people to connect to the wi-fi through mobile devices and laptops a day. The company is also expecting to bring more traffic to Yahoo, as they have created a personalized Times Square page which could appeal to users. Yahoo plans on hosting the free wi-fi through 2010.