NEW YORK -- Verizon launched its new Verizon Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) high-speed Internet access service today by activating 150 of a planned 1,000 transmission stations throughout the city. The service combines the speed of a broadband connection with the flexibility of wireless access.
The total deployment of the transmission stations, known as Verizon HotSpots, will mark the largest such initiative by an Internet service provider in a single U.S. city. The service is exclusively available at no additional charge to Verizon Online customers who have Wi-Fi compatible laptop computers, PDAs or pocket PCs.
"From businesspeople to college students, all kinds of people on the go are looking for better ways to stay connected," said James A. Otterbeck, senior vice president -- emerging markets for Verizon. "Free access to our data network through emerging Wi-Fi technologies gives our customers benefits they can get from no other provider and makes our broadband service uniquely competitive."
Users can access a wireless high-speed Internet connection at up to 300 feet from Verizon HotSpots, which are located at select public telephones. This means customers can connect outdoors in places like parks, bus stops and public squares as well as indoors at certain locations near the HotSpots.
The new HotSpots are deployed in some of the city's most heavily trafficked locations, including the Upper East and Upper West Sides, Columbia University, Midtown, Union Square, Gramercy Park, Greenwich Village/New York University, Wall Street and Battery Park, with more locations to come. A map of Verizon HotSpots can be found at www.verizon.net/wifi. Verizon Wi-Fi-enabled public phones are identified with a Verizon Wi-Fi HotSpot symbol in red and black.
Verizon will publicly demonstrate the new service from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. today in New York at a special event in Madison Square Park.
"There's no better place than New York for us to introduce Verizon Wi-Fi," said Otterbeck. "Our large number of customers here, who are on the go and want to stay connected, make the city a natural place for our initial Wi-Fi rollout and will allow us to effectively evaluate offering the service in additional markets in the future."
Wi-Fi equipment is becoming standard on new laptop computers, PDAs and other portable electronic devices. Those who don't have wireless-enabled laptops can purchase a wireless modem at most retail or online computer and electronics stores.
A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 136.6 million access line equivalents and
33.3 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third-largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 13.2 million long-distance lines, and the company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. With approximately $67 billion in annual revenues and 227,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.