Some Verizon users get free Wi-Fi hot spot access

— 6:00 AM on July 28, 2009

Good news, Verizon customers: you might be more likely to enjoy free Wi-Fi next time you hit the road. Verizon has announced a free, country-wide Wi-Fi service for users of its FiOS and DSL services—at least, some of them. Here's the skinny, straight from the official announcement blog post:

New Verizon FiOS Internet customers who order an up-to- 25/15 Mbps* (megabits per second) or faster connection or new HSI customers who order an up-to- 3 Mbps/768 Kbps* (kilobits per second) or up-to- 7.1 Mbps/768 Kbps* connection can connect to the new Verizon Wi-Fi hotspots, at no additional charge as part of their broadband service.

The new WiFi service is also available free of charge for existing FiOS Internet customers with up-to-20 Mbps or faster packages and existing HSI customers who have either an up-to-3 Mbps or up-to- 7.1 Mbps package.

The service is available now at a "long list of hotspot locations," which include "thousands of hotels, airports, restaurants, coffee shops, retailers and public locations." You can find hot spots through this page.

Verizon customers can't just waltz in and get their Wi-Fi on, though. They'll need to head to the Verizon Central, register for the free Wi-Fi service, and download some software. The software will sit in users' Windows task bar and notify them when they enter a hot spot.

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