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Posted: 7:35 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014

Free airport Wi-Fi getting closer

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By Kelly Yamanouchi

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Travelers are closer to getting free Wi-Fi at the world’s busiest airport.

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport plans to seek approval for a wireless Internet infrastructure upgrade contract that will pave the way for free Wi-Fi.

If the measure is approved by the Atlanta City Council in the next week, the best-case scenario is that free Wi-Fi could be ready to launch by the end of March, Hartsfield-Jackson spokesman Reese McCranie said. “We’ve heard loud and clear that (the lack of free Wi-Fi) is an issue with passengers and we are aggressively seeking a solution,” he said.

Once it’s ready, the airport will be able to support as many as 15,000 Wi-Fi users at once. Currently only 4,000 can get on the paid Wi-Fi system. Hartsfield-Jackson serves as many as 250,000 passengers a day.

The upgrade of the airport’s outdated Wi-Fi infrastructure could cost nearly $6 million, according to documents from the airport. Johnson Controls Inc. was selected to do the work as the lowest bidder at $3.6 million. But the airport is budgeting as much as $6 million, mainly to include an incentive for the work to be completed more quickly.

See more of this story in Wednesday’s Atlanta Journal-Constution and on MyAJC.com for subscribers.

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