“Episode VI: Return of the WiFi”. AT&T adds hotspot access for iPhones (or not?)

IphonewifionHave we finally come to the conclusion that we already knew? I’m speaking of the on-again, off-again trials and tribulations of included hotspot access for iPhones. Like bad prequels, people saw it and then it went away earlier this year. A few times, in fact. But now it looks to be officially official based on the AT&T Wireless page:

"AT&T knows Wi-Fi is hot, and free Wi-Fi even hotter, which is whywe are proud to offer iPhone customers free access to the nation’slargest Wi-Fi hotspot network with more than 17,000 hotspots, includingStarbucks*. Now users can relax and access music, e-mail and webbrowsing services with their favorite blend in hand from the comfort oftheir favorite location."

I wasn’t in doubt that "free" access to AT&T-affiliated hotspots would happen; it was more a matter of when. It’s one the least expensive ways the company can offload some data traffic from their costly HSDPA network, while enhancing the customer experience. A win-win for both the light and the dark side, if you will.

(via iPhone Alley)

Update: Dwight Silverman spoke to an AT&T Sith Lord rep who says that the information was posted in error. I think the carrier is using Jedi mind tricks on us all at this point…