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AT&T confirms free Wi-Fi for iPhone owners [u]

updated 10:40 am EDT, Fri July 18, 2008

AT&T iPhone Wi-Fi a go

(Updated with AT&T denial) AT&T has, after some delay, officially reintroduced a free Wi-Fi plan for iPhone owners. The carrier has changed its policy on the service several times, announcing it and then retracting it; the company now confirms, though, that people should be able to access free Wi-Fi from an iPhone at over 17,000 hotspots, among them more than 8,000 restaurants, many of which should be Starbucks Coffee locations.

AT&T has placed further routers in over 700 bookstores, 50 groceries, 31 hotels and 23 universities. Other locations are fairly limited, including 18 convention centers, 12 airports and just five sports arenas.

Update: An AT&T spokesman, Seth Bloom, now says that the webpage was posted in error. "We have not made any announcement regarding free Wi-Fi and iPhone," Bloom observes. The page has since been pulled, though Bloom does note that the company hopes to have free Wi-Fi in the future. "Wi-Fi is a real differentiator for AT&T and it is our intention to make it available to as many customers as possible," he says.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. amper

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Instructions?

    Great. Now how does it work?

  1. JuanGuapo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Free Wifi?

    I was highly skeptical about signing with AT&T but did so reluctantly for the iPhone 3G, and dropped my carrier (T-Mobile). T-Mobile in my area was average at best, but had the cheapest rate plans of any carrier in my area.

    I thought the iPhone rate plans were outrageous but now that I get free WiFi, the deal is a little sweeter.

  1. bonaccij

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Nobody Knows

    I had an hour and a half conversation with support at both AT&T and Apple this morning. Nobody seems to know how the authentication works.

  1. rcarlosnyc

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Free WiFi

    Your login is your iPhone phone number. Your password is the pass code you use to login to AT&T's site to manage your account.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    ... psych!

    And the page is gone again. It was there a few minutes ago. Now I get a 404 error. Come on, AT&T! Stop teasing us!

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Nobody Knows

    AT&T's bought the majority of their wi-fi division. I'm sure integrating two large companies is no easy feat. But I spent almost 2 hours over 5 phone calls to AT&T in an attempt to figure out how (or even if) I could add wi-fi access to my iPhone account with AT&T. Finally, AT&T transfered me to someone in the iPhone AppleCare division (an Apple employee) who told me - off the record - that AT&T offers at stand-alone $29.95 monthly wi-fi account. And then I was abruptly disconnected before he could tell me more. Literally NO ONE at AT&T knew about this plan. I even TOLD them about it (because Google had found it for me). They had no idea.

    Everyone I spoke with was very very nice. The last AT&T person I spoke with answered the phone by saying, "My name is Ellen, and we are going to solve your problem." She didn't. But she really wanted to.

  1. speed_the_collapse

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Cancelled?

    I read on AppleInsider (as an update after the article was posted) that AT&T has retracted their announcement and blamed the error on their employees.

    Not cool.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -4

    "Official"

    So when MacNN says "AT&T has... officially reintroduced a free Wi-Fi plan for iPhone owners," I guess they really mean, "one of our readers found this page somehow and sent us the link and in our fervor to make updates that drive our hits which drives our revenue, we didn't even bother to look for the press release."

    Here, let me help:

    http://www.att.com/gen/landing-pages?pid=6080

  1. rtbarry

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    lol macnn

    one of your worst stories ever.

  1. Roger@MacNN

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    re: lol

    What were they supposed to do? AT&T put the information up as official, then admitted they made a mistake.

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