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Google Offers Free Wi-Fi To Access USENET Newsgroups
November 12th, 2009

If you’re looking to travel this holiday season throughout the united states, Google is offering a way for you to still have USENET newsgroup access along the way. Google has announced that they will offer free Wi-Fi at approximately 47 major U.S. airports across the country running through January 15, 2010; ensuring that people can connect online and access newsgroups for free while they wait at airline gates and other areas.

Below is a list of airports where the free WiFi access to USENET newsgroups is being offered:

Austin (AUS)
Baltimore (BWI)
Billings (BIL)
Boston (BOS)
Bozeman (BZN)
Buffalo (BUF)
Burbank (BUR)
Central Wisconsin (CWA)
Charlotte (CLT)
Des Moines (DSM)
El Paso (ELP)
Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
Fort Myers/SW (RSW)
Greensboro (GSO)
Houston (HOU)
Houston Bush (IAH)
Indianapolis (IND)
Jacksonville (JIA)
Kalamazoo (AZO)
Las Vegas (LAS)
Louisville (SDF)
Madison (MSN)
Memphis (MEM)
Miami (MIA)
Milwaukee (MKE)
Monterey (MRY)
Nashville (BNA)
Newport News (PHF)
Norfolk (ORF)
Oklahoma City (OKC)
Omaha (OMA)
Orlando (MCO)
Panama City (PFN)
Pittsburgh (PIT)
Portland (PWM)
Sacramento (SMF)
San Antonio (SAT)
San Diego (SAN)
San Jose (SJC)
Seattle (SEA)
South Bend (SBN)
Spokane (GEG)
St. Louis (STL)
State College (SCE)
Toledo (TOL)
Traverse City (TVC)
West Palm Beach (PBI)

Google’s official blog post says over 100 million people will pass through the participating airports between now and January 15, 2010. They surely mean 100 million trips, many of them repeat customers, which still means millions and millions of potential users.

These sponsorships have a meaning beyond “free WiFi.” Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are trying to position themselves as gateways to the Internet. But unlike what Gmail did to email, Google hasn’t changed the price of WiFi access to $0.00 as part of a business model. However, as an extension of Google’s holiday promotion, airport wireless users will be invited to make charitable donations upon logging in. Google will match donations to Engineers Without Borders, the One Economy Corporation and the Climate Savers Computing Initiative up to $250,000. The airport whose passengers donate the most money will receive an additional $15,000 from Google to donate to the local charity of its choice.

In October, Google announced a deal with Virgin American Airlines to offer free in-flight Wi-Fi access during the same holiday period.

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