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Verizon Brings Free Wi-Fi to Millions of Broadband Customers

by Employee ‎07-27-2009 12:40 PM - edited ‎08-19-2009 05:50 PM

Free Wi-Fi service for millions of Verizon FiOS Internet and High Speed Internet (HSI) customers is available now, adding another new advantage for Verizon broadband users.

 

Verizon customers can now access the Internet for personal use or business from a long list of hotspot locations at thousands of hotels, airports, restaurants, coffee shops, retailers and public locations across the country. Click here to read the news release


Wi-Fi is the prefect companion to the Compaq Mini netbooks available as part of a promotion right now for qualifying Verizon customers.

Says Verizon Telecom chief marketing officer Mike Ritter, “We’re giving Verizon customers the mobility tools they need to go online more often and in more places.”

With thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots from coast to coast, Verizon  broadband customers can stay connected to work, family and friends from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam.

Some cable companies have begun to offer WiFi in certain regions of the country as a way to compete.  The Verizon Wi-Fi service is national, as well as regional, since customers don’t just travel only within their home region, just as they don’t access the Internet only while at home.

We think the new WiFi service will be a real value for customers, and we’re anxious to get their reactions – and yours.

 


Step 1 Verizon Central screenshot -- Verizon FiOS Internet and Verizon High Speed Internet customers eligible for the Wi-Fi service may visit the Verizon Central Web site to register for the service and download the Wi-Fi program.
Wi-Fi Logo Wi-Fi Logo – This is the Verizon Wi-Fi logo that will appear on the desktop of individual laptops and netbooks, after qualified customers register for the service and install the necessary software.
 
 
Wi-Fi detected screenshot – After qualified customers download the Verizon Wi-Fi software, they will be notified on their laptop or netbook desktop when they enter a Wi-Fi hotspot. The customers will be prompted their previously determined Wi-Fi user name and password before opening accessing the Internet at a hot spot.
Wi-Fi Connect screenshot – Verizon broadband customers who have registered for the new Wi-Fi service will be notified on their compter desktop when they are at a hotspot and a window will be opened on the desktop indicating the Wi-Fi signal strength at the hotspot.

Message Edited by Eric_Rabe on 08-19-2009 02:50 PM

Comments
by on ‎07-27-2009 02:22 PM

Great new feature. 

 

Unfortunately you only support Windows XP/Vista 32 bit.  I am using Vista 64 bit and Windows 7.

 

When will we see these OS's supported?

by jmcging on ‎07-27-2009 02:43 PM
The trades say that the service is actually Boingo rebranded.  Boingo has mac and Vista client software, so the question is why VZ doesn't.  Also, even restricting yourself to the US, the hotspot list on VZ is a shadow of the list that shows for many locations from Boingo.  I used my home zipcode on both and the differences were amazing.  And the need for client software means no wifi smartphone access, which is a shame.
by jonesclp on ‎07-27-2009 03:16 PM
How about a MAC compatible version???
by friscoaggie on ‎07-27-2009 03:30 PM

Why in the world would you roll out a wifi service for your FiOS customers that restricts usage to windows-only devices? Then make it even worse by only supporting the 32-bit version of that OS.

 

Wake up and look around, people use Mac's, 64bit OS's, smartphones, linux, ipod's, etc.

 

 Amazing. :smileysad:

by cutter1 on ‎07-27-2009 05:33 PM

Hmmm...I was able to load it onto my Vista 64 (w/IE 32) laptop without issue...I'm not surprised I don't see XP 64 support...hardly anyone writes applications for that OS...

 

I'll have to try W7 tonight... 

by tomb01 on ‎07-27-2009 06:18 PM
Useless for me.   I use a Mac.   Time to start looking at AT&T Uverse, which is just hitting my neighborhood.   And AT&T seems to have more hotspots anyway....  tom B.
by jmclaughlin on ‎07-27-2009 08:19 PM

I had to sign up just to comment. 

 

Why does this require software at all?   This would've been great if it were introduced 10 years ago when everyone brought their laptops everywhere, now its smartphone/PDAs.  How briliant would this be, since VerizonWireless just annouced that all future phones will be Wifi-enabled.  Oh yeah, it won't work with them.

 

Perhaps this is to be expected of a company that provides routes with their service with 1kb NAT table; and who's tech support is absolutely clueless when it comes to any sort of these pda/laptop devices which are sold by the same parent company.

 

Verizon, I really want to like you; but these press-releases and your actions make it really hard.

by webdevl on ‎07-27-2009 08:52 PM
Come on guys get with the program.  Not everyone uses windows.  Boingo has a Mac client why not make it available for us to use rather that force us to use windows.
by mlgualtieri on ‎07-27-2009 09:31 PM

Sounds like a nice service, if I had a compatible device!  I have 3 laptops, two which run Linux and one that has Mac OSX. This doesn't count my three work laptops which are also 100% Linux.  At least I have my iPhone, which I can use on the go for all my wireless needs.

 

I've never used Boingo before, but it seems a bit backwards to restrict wireless to a certain class of operating system, when every OS and most mobile devices support wifi.  Hopefully Verizon will consider adding Linux to their lineup next year with the gammut of moble Linux devices hitting the shelfs.

 

by Davidgro on ‎07-27-2009 11:22 PM
I have to agree with the others.  Offering a new service for Windows XP only is plain dumb!  You guys need to get a Mac client out.  And quickly!!!  Other than that... I like this blog.  Keep it up!
by greg1234 on ‎07-28-2009 03:42 AM
I registered just to post this comment. I cannot logically understand how verizon, a company that I regard as progressive and intellegent, could possibly consider linking free wifi with a platform requiring software bound to a specific OS. So much for my Mac, my iPhone, my Linux Subnotebook. Mindblowing.
by tomvon on ‎07-28-2009 06:40 AM
More like "Verizon Brings Free WiFi to Select Windows Customers". Seriously guys, why bother? DId your marketing dept. really think this was a wise move? No Mac or mobile phone support, come on. This may have been a big announcement back in 1999, it's 2009 guys, get with the program. By the time youg guys come around to actully trying once in w while we'll probably have free govt. WiFi. I trust Obama's staff more on technical issue than you guys.
by tomvon on ‎07-28-2009 06:43 AM
Oh and seriously, this is one of the worst blogs I've ever seen. Heard of Wordpress guys? It's free.
by openprivacy on ‎07-28-2009 09:01 AM
Though I have the Verizon Bundle (Internet, Phone, TV) I also have iPhone, MacBook and Linux Laptop, so I guess I'm hosed.  But even if I had Windoze, I'm not sure I'd want to have yet another background process running all the time looking for Boingo hotspots.  Why can't they simply issue accounts?  Hey, they could even tie the account to a machine's mac address making illicit sharing of accounts quite difficult.  But requiring a background process is terrible IMO.
by BurtReynolds on ‎07-28-2009 10:16 AM
Why does it need to include downloading software?  Sorry if I don't exactly trust Verizon to not saddle my computer with another piece of bloatware or something that sniffs out my surfing habits.  Why couldn't FiOS users just register to recieve a user name and password which you use to access the hotspot when you connect using the standard Intel or whatever wireless driver you use.  Between the Omnia GPS fiasco and this "free wireless...if you download our software" play, AT&T is starting to look better and better.  Maybe uVerse will come to my area soon.
by RobWelbourn on ‎07-28-2009 02:00 PM

Eric,

 

Why exactly do we need special client software to use this service? 

 

In any case, the Firefox installer is broken: an endless cycle of downloading the plugin, restarting the browser, downloading the plugin, restarting the browser...

 

Rob

 

 

by HaGirl on ‎07-28-2009 02:40 PM
I can't believe you have to install special software for this!  When I first saw the news I was excited but now I know it's useless for me since I have a Mac.  I was particularly looking forward to maybe using the service with my iPod Touch but so much for that idea too...  
by jonesclp on ‎07-28-2009 03:08 PM
How long will it be before a response from "Corporate"?  Come Eric some PR here is needed.  This is an great service but not offering a solution for ALL OS's is a dis-service.    Should have waited till you had it available for all customers....
by Someone on ‎07-28-2009 04:43 PM

I too had to register just to comment on this.  I was pretty excited when I heard about this, until I found out the details.  First and foremost, who wants to have some bloatware slowing down their computer just to connect to some wifi hotspots?  If you really wanted to make a value-added service, just make it so you can connect to Boingo hotspots with a verizon id.

And, as has been said before, it's just plain silly to restrict this to Windows.   Not requiring some silly software would fix this issue as well...

 

Nice idea and all, but the **bleep**-poor implementation does more harm than good for many of us...

by milton6976 on ‎07-28-2009 05:33 PM
I'm right there with everyone else. Wiped my netbook of Windows and now using Linux deriviative (which I absolutley love). I find this one hard to swallow. What Verizon giveth with one hand. It taketh away with the other. Sadly in this case all at the same time. I hope you guys will open this up to more OS's soon. So disappointing Verizon.
by Employee on ‎07-28-2009 07:12 PM
Hello everyone,

Eric here.  Some of you have questions about our announcement thatWiFi available to Verizon FiOS and High Speed Internet (HSI) customers. I have read through your questions and issues, and I've posted a follow-up that addresses them: click here to read.  It's great that you take the time to comments, so if you have other thoughts and ideas, please let us know at the "More about Verizon WiFi" blog post.

Thank you all for your readership and I hope that my latest post answers most of your questions and concerns, and thanks again.

-- Eric 
by dinopdx on ‎07-29-2009 03:07 PM
I am a Mac user who is qualified for your "free" wi-fi plan but can't use it because of my computer.  Can I get $10 off of my Verizon bill every month so I can sign up for the wi-fi service? 
by triumphcub908 on ‎07-31-2009 10:49 AM
I am a Mac user - not offering a Mac compatible app is the kind of Neanderthal thinking will give Verizon a (another) black eye ... where have you guys been?
by triumphcub908 on ‎07-31-2009 10:54 AM
I just noticed your News Release says nothing about restricting usage to Gates Motel Windows ... how convenient.
by Javan on ‎10-22-2009 11:15 AM

Windows 7 was released today.  When will it be supported by Verizon WiFi?

by Arciel on ‎11-17-2009 04:11 PM

This thread started back in July. It's now mid-November, and not a peep from Verizon about when there will be Mac OSX compatibility with Wi-Fi. Fortunately, I can use my iMac at home with FiOS, but it would be nice to take advantage of Verizon's (subset of Boingo) hotspots on the road with my Mac laptop.

 

When might we expect Mac support for this feature?

by andromb on ‎11-21-2009 09:24 PM

Mac Fan here too. 

 

Please Eric, when can we expect Verizon wi-fi for Mac?

by Malbone on ‎12-11-2009 03:11 PM

I honestly don't know why I would need some special Verizon software in order to get onto the Internet at a Starbucks hotspot.  Isn't the hotspot there to provide any wifi laptop with free access?

 

I have never had great luck with special secret proprietary packages.  When I first got DSL, it came with a CD that I tried installing for about 36 CONSECUTIVE HOURS, including calls to customer service reps on at least 3 continents.  Finally a techie got on the phone and told me the super-secret DHCP and DNS entries that I could use to set up my router all by myself in ten minutes, using my browser.

 

Another commercial outfit, unrelated to Verizon, was pushing a software package that required me to send them my system configuration and then have their tech person come to my office to install.  I sent them the config, they told me I needed XP Pro, I told them I had XP Pro, and they said no, I didn't.  Then the "techie" installed the package and it locked up every single piece of software except itself.  Took me two weeks to remove every trace of it and reinstall it myself, following which it worked just fine.

 

Verizon has gotten better, but I really don't want to lose another three weeks of my life ripping out some **bleep** piece of SW that messes with my computer.  One of my wireless cards came with an old version of Boingo!, which I tried, and which also caused innumerable problems before I figured out I could use the Windows control panel to set up the wireless card and that Boingo! was apparently just a friendly front end.

 

Not to mention that I am a dual Mac-PC user and resent the fact that Macs (and pre-G5 Macs, too) are left out of software that really doesn't need to use advanced features of the machine.  What happened to the much-touted advent of browser-based software?  If I can change my router settings in Firefox, why shouldn't there be a Firefox plugin to let me find a hotspot and connect to it?  Wait a minute ...

 

 

by Scott_r1 on ‎12-16-2009 09:26 AM

Still no Mac software?


Shrug.

 

I'd be more irritated if Verizon wifi would have actually been useful to me. But the wifi spots seem to be mainly limited to Starbucks--a place I never go to--and a bare handful of similar commercial establishments.

 

I'm sure that wifi for users was added to help compete with Cablevision, which is adding optimumwifi spots seemingly everywhere on Long Island and which came oh-so-close to getting me to switch back as a result. 

 

Still, the whole enterprise seems silly. Cablevision provides access via web page logon--and can now remember devices so you don't need to sign on anymore. Verizon couldn't figure out how to do this, and instead requires dedicated software? How very 1997!

by ProllyNotHappy on ‎01-04-2010 01:00 PM

The Mac software will be available just as soon as their home media center for the Mac is released.

 

;>)

 

To be fair, there are legitimate business reasons for Verizon to want to limit access to laptops and netbooks.

 

1. This is an absolutely free additional benefit. It played no role in my purchasing decision.

 

2. I suspect that this was some sort of marketing gimmick. Somebody noticed that there was a bunch of un-used bandwidth and suggested that they give it away to their paying customers. Somebody else said, "wait a minute, do you realize how many of our customers have WiFi enabled handheld devices? They will swamp the network". So, they needed to limit access to (a) paying customers of Verizon INTERNET services; that means (generally) people that are using Verizon as an ISP from home, and (b) some way to prevent their paying customers from simply sharing their access information with friends and neighbors.

 

For example, my wife has a Centro through Verizon (which she loves, by the way) WITHOUT a data plan. If she could use it at any Verizon hotspot, they'd be basically giving her the bandwidth that she would not use if she did not have a smartphone. Multiply that by every other Verizon ISP customer who is not purchasing a Verizon wireless data plan and you get an idea of the potential bandwidth issues.

 

3. There was probably a better way to do it, but this is the solution they chose.

 

All of that is to give Verizon the benefit of the doubt. On the other hand:

 

Still not having a Mac solution makes me angry. My contract expires in 6 months. If SPRINT/CLEAR is providing WiMax in my area by then...

 

Eric Rabe has handled this miserably, by not handling it. This post should have been made by him. His link back in July to a post that supposedly answers these questions did not even remotely begin to do so.

 

As a previous poster said: SHRUG.

by gambatte on ‎03-28-2010 08:12 PM

Just received email and snailmail that the service is now being "discontinued in my area". This was initially offered to High Speed Internet and FIOS customers.  I am a High Speed Internet customer and I can't get FIOS in my area. Is that why it is being discontinued??? ATT gives the service free.  Why can't Verizon??? 

by Employee on ‎03-29-2010 05:27 PM

gambatte,

 

After March 26, 2010, Verizon Wi-Fi is no longer available to customers in areas that are part of Verizon's transaction with Frontier Communications.  This applies to both HSI and FiOS customers.

 

Editors

by gambatte on ‎04-04-2010 01:53 PM

Thanks for the response eric_rabe. Thought this blog might be dead. So, afaik, my account is with Verizon, bill paying and such. I just visited frontier.com and they have not contacted me to switch to their service...as of yet. Will this be happening in the near future??? And will I be able to use Wifi (Boingo) until (if) it happens? I haven't been to any hotspot lately to see if it still works or not.

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About The Authors

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Bob stays on top of developments and issues with Verizon’s Consumer and Mass Business segment from his home base in Florida. He has been involved with FiOS since it was first being developed and deployed in 2004.

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Alberto is in the public relations group. He loves to share tech, sustainability, feel-good, and random news of interest. A happy FiOS quad play customer, he likes to use his family as guinea pigs.

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