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.