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Wi-Fi Flies High in Its First Year at ATL
By Pamela Wilson

Where can you find the largest indoor hotspot in the entire country? Look no further than Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

“We have the latest technology, and the system covers all 5.8 million square feet of the Central Passenger Terminal Complex and outlying areas including the transportation mall,” said Business Development Manager Odessa Wallace. “Customers don’t have to worry about being disconnected because we have ample antennas to sustain the system.”

The $2.5 million project the Department of Aviation launched in November 2005 has been extremely successful and well received. The system has about 25,000 daily users, who are able to select from several providers. That’s because the Airport has a “neutral host system,” Airport officials said.

When the program began DOA planners projected the system would receive 20,000 hits per month. Since that time the system has averaged 25,000 per month. In August and September 2006, there were an average of 30,000 per month, and the number is rising, said Wallace.

This means that unlike other facilities where only one provider has been contracted to run the system, Hartsfield-Jackson elected to run the system itself and allow multiple providers to offer internet access. Customers who open their browser in the Airport will see a Web page with links to the five current service providers. The Airport is currently negotiating with two others. The competition seems to be good for customers, with fees as low as $4.95 per day. Another customer benefit is the continuity of signals. Customers who logon and pay can move all over the Airport without having to pay again.

Providers are also seeing the value in Hartsfield-Jackson’s network. “To be a provider on our system you can be as big as Wi-Fi Zone or as small as Access Anyplace,” Wallace, said referring to two of the Airport’s Wi-Fi providers. “Everyone pays the same fee, which opens opportunity to a wider range of providers.”

© 2006-2007 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.


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