Barnes & Noble to Offer Free Wi-Fi
Barnes & Noble Inc. took free Wi-Fi a step further this week by announcing that anybody can walk into one of its nearly 800 stores nationwide and surf the Net free for an unlimited time.
Barnes & Noble has been using AT&T Wi-Fi services since 2005, but charged a fee until now, according to an AT&T spokeswoman. AT&T wired broadband customers and some AT&T wireless customers also had free access at the bookstores.
Verizon announced earlier this week that many of its wired broadband customers on home-based DSL and FiOS services will have thousands of free Wi-Fi hotspots to use nationwide. Verizon is using access points from Boingo Wireless.
AT&T noted that it has maintained more than 20,000 hotspots nationwide since last year, handling nearly 15 million connections in the second quarter for a total of 25 million for the first half of the year. Half of the second-quarter connections were from smartphones, including the iPhone, AT&T said.