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WiFi Usage at Boston Logan Jumps 400 percent in 2010
Free Service Has Passengers Clicking Through More than 1.4 Million Times
BOSTON – Everyone likes something for free and Boston Logan International Airport’s passengers are no exception. The Massachusetts Port Authority’s decision to offer free WiFi at New England’s Gateway to the World in 2010 resulted in a 412 percent increase in usage last year with 1,441,833 sessions logged; there were 349,381 sessions in 2009.
“We knew this was something our customers wanted and we are thrilled with the response,’’ said Thomas J. Kinton Jr., CEO & Executive Director of Massport. “Usage grew throughout the year and peak periods reflected the passenger volume in the terminals. It is not surprising our single busiest day was the day before Thanksgiving – which is one of the busiest days of the year in the airline industry – when 8,235 sessions were recorded.’’
A robust, secure WiFi system was installed throughout the airport seven years ago at a cost of several million dollars and charging for access allowed that investment to be recovered. The free system unveiled by Massport and the service provider, Advanced Wireless Group, in January 2010, is supported by advertising and sponsorship programs. Subscribers to a roaming service, such as Boingo or T-Mobile, get access through those providers and those using the free service view advertising before accessing the Internet.
Francis X. Anglin, Massport’s Chief Information Officer, said January 2010 saw 83,750 sessions and December had 141,981. He noted the 1.4 million sessions in 2010 represent more than half of the cumulative total of 2,230,787 sessions since WiFi was first available at the airport in June 2004.
“To accommodate the increased usage we have already upgraded 30 access points and are discussing with AWG additional upgrades to the remaining access points in the coming months,’’ Anglin said.
Boston Logan, 15 minutes from the intersection of Route 128 and I-90 and five minutes from downtown Boston, serves as the gateway to the New England region and offers nonstop service to 72 domestic and 29 international destinations and in 2010 handled 27.4 million passengers. Boston Logan is the Air Line Pilot Association’s Airport of the Year for 2008 because of its commitment to safety. Over the past decade, the airport spent $4.5 billion on a modernization program that includes new terminals, parking facilities, roadways and airport concessions, and has been transformed into a world-class 21st Century facility. The airport generates $7 billion in total economic impact each year.
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The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, public terminals in the Port of Boston, Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airport. Massport is a financially self-sustaining public authority whose premier transportation facilities generate more than $8 billion annually, and enhance and enable economic growth and vitality in New England. No state tax dollars are used to fund operations or capital improvements at Massport facilities.