Join Transform 2021 this July 12-16. Register for the AI event of the year.


It appears AT&T has finally made good on its promise to give iPhone owners free access to Wi-Fi service at its hotspots around the country. I say “appears,” because we’ve seen this before — at least twice — and both times the service was promptly yanked from existence.

About six months ago I was in a Starbucks with my iPhone. I was automatically connected to their AT&T Wi-Fi, and when I opened up my web browser it took me to an AT&T page asking for my iPhone phone number. I put it in and was granted free Wi-Fi access. A great deal, right? The next day I went back and it was gone.

A couple months later, a page on AT&T’s site trumpeted the arrival of free Wi-Fi for iPhone owners. This wasn’t just at Starbucks, but any of AT&T’s over 17,000 Wi-Fi hotspots. The only problem? The service wasn’t actually deployed yet, and the page was taken down.

Now, over three months after that, AT&T looks ready to go with the option. Several iPhone users have received text messages about the free Wi-Fi service, which directs them to this page, which reads:

AT&T knows Wi-Fi is hot, and FREE Wi-Fi is even hotter. Which is why FREE AT&T Wi-Fi access is now available for Apple iPhone at thousands of hotspots nationwide, including Starbucks*. Users can relax and access music, email and web browsing services with their favorite blend in hand from the comfort of their nearest location.

I have no idea what took AT&T so long to implement this service, since I was actually using it six months ago. Hopefully, this time, AT&T actually does know what’s hot: A promised service that actually works.

VentureBeat

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more
Become a member