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Verizon's Free Wi-Fi
Sees reduced churn thanks to hotspots
by Karl Bode 06:29PM Monday Jan 12 2004
Although they've trimmed their deployment plan in half, Verizon says providing free Wi-Fi to their DSL subscribers in Manhattan has been a hit. The company reports they've seen a 2% reduction in churn, and are "surprised" at how popular the hotspots have become - so will they deploy more?. Originally planning to deploy over 1,000 hotspots throughout Manhattan, Verizon eventually scaled that plan down to around 430 (some of which are viewable via a list on the Verizon website).

Many of those hotspots are wired into the mounts of decommissioned and existing pay-phones, and according to this Telephony On-line report, 70% of their Wi-Fi traffic stems from roughly 50% of these booth mounted hotspots. The Manhattan deployments were supposed to be a trial - potentially leading to broader Wi-Fi deployments - though Verizon has yet to indicate a time-frame for free Wi-Fi in other regions. Those plans may be put on hold to instead nudge users toward their third generation EvDO wireless network.

topics flat nest 

Cheboygan, MI

Great Idea

This is a great idea on Verizon's part, but I'd like to see more companys do this.

Especially in area's that I visit.
Experience -- a great teacher, but the tutition fees... . BOFH

Sacramento, CA

What about the rest of the people in Manhattan

...providing free Wi-Fi to their DSL subscribers...

So if you are not a Verizon DSL subscriber you can't use their hot-spots at all?

Karl Bode
News Guy

Re: What about the rest of the people in Manhattan


Langhorne, PA


What do they mean by churn?

Karl Bode
News Guy

Re: Churn?

Customer's leaving their DSL service for other providers.

Chico, CA
To "Churn", IE: Move on to another provider.

Melville, NY

Article Correction

All of the NYC Verizon WiFi Hotspots are located at payphones that still work as classic payphones (they are not "decommissioned" as the article states)....HTH!

New York, NY

Wifi in Mangattan

Not a bad idea first of all I live in Manhattan and on the 35th floor i catch there hotspots with my wireless network i have set up but the signal's are not that great i have drove around the city and found that majority of signals strength is not all that great. But keep it up Verison i tihnk its a great idea...

Cynical Idealist

Somerville, NJ

Re: Wifi in Mangattan

said by eugine:
;)Not a bad idea first of all I live in Manhattan and on the 35th floor i catch there hotspots with my wireless network i have set up but the signal's are not that great i have drove around the city and found that majority of signals strength is not all that great. But keep it up Verison i tihnk its a great idea...

Actually I used Verizon Wi-Fi on Wall St. about 2 weeks ago and my download speed was 650k. That's not too shabby considering it's free and I was able to log on to work using a VPN...
"It's amazing I won. I was running against peace, prosperity, and incumbency."George W. Bush - June 14, 2001 - speaking to Swedish Prime Minister Goran Perrson, unaware that a live television camera was still rolling.

New York, NY

Re: Wifi in Mangattan

Not bad i would have thought 384 down or something small like that but 650 not bad at all ty for your post..

Lincolnshire, IL

Great Idea

But I have to wonder if WiFi is actually reducing their churn rate..... 2% has to be close to the error margins.



Re: Great Idea

/me sits back and enjoys free internet access...

anyone know how they are securing it?


Belvedere Tiburon, CA
One of the great statistical language problems.

Does Verizon mean they've reduced their churn by 2% of the amount churned, or by 2% of the customer base? (If their normal churn [by month, quarter, or whatever] is 5%, then a 2% (of the base) reduction to 3% is significant. If, on the other hand, they've only reduced the churn by 2% of the churn (0.1% of the base) then it would be meaningless.

The underlying article quotes Verizon as saying that a 0.6% churn reduction would have paid for the service, so I suspect they are measuring as a % of the base.



Belvedere Tiburon, CA

My two cents on the future....

I'm betting this is the future of commercial Wi-Fi.

It will be a value-added part of some package, or an amenity that businesses provide the way they provide lights in their parking lot. While the primary and intended benefit is for the convenience of their customers, nobody stops a freeloader from dropping in and reading his map there, except in very crowded areas like major city downtowns.

VoIP--the death knell of remaining voice monopolies!



Another load-o-shit

Hot spots might be ok for the City-Rats ,But Verizon has yet to provide basic DSL for my area. The 80% crap is a LIE since I live in a major metropolitan area where no dsl is planned.

Next time your at a Verizon board meeting,you should look under the table to see what their doing!


Hollis, NY

It's worth it!

Especially if you consider that if you want to sit in Starbucks and surf while you drink your $5.00 cup of coffee, you'll have to cough up another 20-30 clams a month no matter how long you use their service, or not.

People will pay for flexibility, not caps and restrictions. I've been down since day one -- You GO Verizon.
Glendale, AZ

Re: It's worth it!

Got to be a joke or I hope so.

220, 221, Whatever It Takes.

if they deploy more,

ill bet they wont be free, ill tell ya what.

Can you do Blu?
Hercules, CA

1 edit


Google is your friend! »www.google.com/search?q=Free%20Wi%2dFi

The most popular site is... »www.wififreespot.com/

Free = free, aka no fees! As in, anybody can use it.

Carbon Unit
Saint Charles, MO

Re: Verizon?

I get free wifi (SWB DSL) at my local mom and pops coffee shop, it keeps me coming back as a return customer:D
Jacksonville, FL

Bundled Services is the way

I think this is the future of internet services. Instead of pricing each offering as a monolithic service, provide one price, one account and access from multiple service points, be it, DSL, Wi-Fi hotspot, dialup, or GPRS and egads, even cable? (hey Comcast!).

I see T-Mobile is moving to bundled pricing on their hotspot/GPRS services. I mean why pay 29.95 monthly for each service? It should be 29.95 for both together. Clearly a customer is not going surf both GPRS and Wi_Fi at the same time. It would be even better if I could roam directly from a GPRS network and walk into a hotspot zone and not lose a thing, just get more bandwidth.

Yeah, yeah, I know, its a back office billing problem. Would someone get the dang SAP systems to talk to each other!

San Luis Obispo, CA

Let customers build infrastructure

How about if DSL providers gave each of their customers a router with wireless access point? Include software to authenticate users. Allow any subscriber to the DSL provider use any of these WAPs on a "space available" basis (subscriber whose line it is on would have priority). Further, multiple DSL subscribers in a neighborhood could share bandwidth through the wireless links. Your wireless card would find the WAPs on your providers DSL in your neighborhood and spread the load across multiple WAPs. Everyone gets faster service. And the customers build the hot spot infrastructure.