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Airport offers free Wi-Fi: Dropping fee-based service, Sacramento facility achieves a first for north state.
[April 15, 2006]

Airport offers free Wi-Fi: Dropping fee-based service, Sacramento facility achieves a first for north state.

(Sacramento Bee, The (CA) (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Apr. 15--Travelers passing through Sacramento International Airport will have free wireless Internet access beginning today after airport officials decided to scrap a fee-based service.

Every public area inside both Terminals A and B will have Wi-Fi connections, making Sacramento International the only major Northern California airport with free access, airport officials said Friday.

Since August 2003, the airport has offered Wi-Fi service in partnership with Airport Network Solutions, but users paid $6.95 a day to get online.

The airport closed out its contract with Airport Network this month, and officials decided to make the service free.

"Our customers have been asking for this," said airport spokeswoman Karen Doron.

"We felt it was more important to offer this service for free, rather than make a little money off it.

Indeed, the airport's share of the $6.95 access fees went to pay off Airport Network for the equipment it had installed, Doron said.

When travelers first connect they will be automatically directed to an airport page that contains a disclaimer and tips on Wi-Fi use. After accepting the disclaimer, users can then continue to the Web sites of their choice.

Doron said the system should have plenty of capacity to handle demand in all terminals.

If some customers use an inordinate amount of bandwidth to download huge video files, for example, technicians might restrict their speed to make more capacity available for other users.

Sacramento joins a host of airports with free Wi-Fi service including Orange County; Long Beach; Portland, Ore.; Las Vegas; and Phoenix.

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