Free Wi-Fi coming to MSP in Octoberby Martin Moylan, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Free wireless Internet connections will be available throughout the Twin Cities airport starting in October.
The firm currently holding the Wi-Fi contract for the airport charges $8 a day. But the new provider, Advanced Wireless Group, will charge nothing for connections fast enough to surf the Web, check e-mail and watch some videos. Speedier connections better suited to watch high-definition movies may cost $3 or $4 a day.
"This is a model we've been deploying around the country, probably the last three four years. It's gained a lot of momentum," said Scott Phillips, CEO of Advanced Wireless.
Airports commission spokesman Patrick Hogan said the current service is popular, but not as much as it would be if it were free.
"Increasingly people have come to believe that wireless Internet should be free at an airport," he said. "It's something we want to address."
The airport's current Wi-Fi service provider paid the commission about $230,000 in concession fees last year. The commission believes that income could more than double, as it collects a share of ad and service revenue from Advanced Wireless.