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Summary:

For a fleeting moment, I thought I was going to enjoy Wi-Fi at Boingo Wireless hotspots without paying my $10 a month. The wireless network company announced a four-year partnership with Verizon that offers Wi-Fi at no additional charge to Verizon FiOS and DSL customers. Folks […]

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For a fleeting moment, I thought I was going to enjoy Wi-Fi at Boingo Wireless hotspots without paying my $10 a month. The wireless network company announced a four-year partnership with Verizon that offers Wi-Fi at no additional charge to Verizon FiOS and DSL customers. Folks need a minimum home service plan — 20Mbps down for FiOS or 3Mbps for DSL — which qualifies them for Wi-Fi on the vast Boingo Wireless network. That’s a great deal and puts Verizon on par with T-Mobile and AT&T. Unfortunately, you also have to be running a notebook using Microsoft Windows XP (32-bit only) or Vista.

Since I alternate my coffee shop work sessions between a Windows netbook and a Mac notebook, I can’t be limited by this requirement. It seems a shame because I’m paying a pretty penny to Verizon for my FiOS Internet and television, yet I can’t fully reap the benefits of this deal. And from a technical standpoint, I’d like to believe it would be easy to support Macs since Boingo itself already does that.

For now, I’ll keep paying the monthly service fee for Boingo. I don’t mind because the service works well for me and I have no issues paying for something of value. It’s just disappointing because I can use the same Wi-Fi service on my Mac with Boingo’s software, yet Verizon doesn’t offer Wi-Fi software for the Mac.

  1. Kevin, could it run under parallels or crossover if you own either of those. Is the software just a fancy front end/login?

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  2. Richard Garrett Monday, July 27, 2009

    This suggests, to me, that the Apple/VZW rumors might be true.

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    1. Verizon’s deal with Boingo’s wireless network DOES NOT SUPPORT Macs so how did you get to the idea that this suggested to you that the Apple/VZw rumours are true. To me and any thinking person it would disprove it.

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  3. Richard Garrett Monday, July 27, 2009

    Your insult aside (ouch!) my thought is that VZW and Apple might enter into an exclusive relationship which requires that to the extent each controls/enables network access via their respective platforms, it will only be through the other’s platform. In other words, an Apple device which is designed to access the web through the VZW network will not be permitted to access via the Boingo/VZW arrangement. VZW’s revenue stream is thus more assured – a requisite if they are to help subsidize the purchase of the Apple device. And to expand a bit, my guess is the Apple device will be both LTE and WiFi capable. Otherwise, my theory – while thoughtful – would be quite in error. One more wrinkle, since you have me thinking — does Verizon have a monolithic approach to this? Does the side of the business that offers FIOS really care about the wireless side? Who knows, herrbutzie, maybe you’re right. The fun is in the guessing.

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  4. I just spent an hour (wasted) on the phone with Verizon CS (India) and they didn’t have a clue as to what I was talking about.

    How does one access the free Boingo hotspot WiFi?

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    1. Travis, hit up the “minimum home service plan” link in the post from a Windows PC. From there, you sign in to Verizon’s site so they can check your eligibility and offer you the software to access Boingo hotspots.

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  5. The boingo software just makes it easier for you to log in on the PC/iphone/etc so other than it not being as convenient, how does it prevent you from using your mac? Can’t you just join the SSID and authenticate via the web page?

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  6. Verizon still doesn’t allow Wifi on most of its smartphones!

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  7. Thank you Kevin.

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  8. BTW, I tried W7 64-bit and it didn;t work either. No surprise…

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  9. stupidity by their marketing department- macs take a large portion of the premium laptop market

    just the kind of people who are crazy enough to pay extra for the premium fios services

    and exactly the type of people who will get pissed on finding out they cant access at their $10 expresso coffee shops, while the snotty nosed $200 netbook next to them can

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  10. Increasingly, Boingo is looking like a scam. I just got back from Newark Liberty, and only wanted the one hour, but they only offered the recurring monthly (not even a one month only). Sadly in most airports, its the only scam in town.

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