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Partners in Free Wi-Fi Outplay Starbucks, T-mobile, and HP

February 23, 2004

Partners in Free WiFi Outplay Starbucks, T-mobile and HP with Free iTunes from SXSW 2004. Partners continue to evolve free Wi-Fi offerings after five months of operating free hotspots in Austin, Texas; Expansion continues in Austin bringing total free Hotspots to 25 independently-owned small businesses such as restaurants, bars, bookstores, coffee shops, and bakeries. Today, Partners in Free WiFi Austin Wireless and Less Networks join with SXSW 2004 to combine free WiFi and free digital music in Austin, the �free-est wireless city in the world� and self-proclaimed music capital of the world. The Partners offer Austin Wireless users over 500 iTunes songs�1.5 days of music when played back-to-back�far exceeding an earlier Starbucks/T-mobile/HP offering based on a single CD.

AUSTIN, TX (PRWEB) February 21, 2004-�Partners in Free WiFi Outplay Starbucks, T-mobile and HP with Free iTunes from SXSW 2004. Partners continue to evolve free Wi-Fi offerings after five months of operating free hotspots in Austin, Texas; Expansion continues in Austin bringing total free Hotspots to 25 independently-owned small businesses such as restaurants, bars, bookstores, coffee shops, and bakeries.

Today, Partners in Free WiFi Austin Wireless and Less Networks join with SXSW 2004 to combine free WiFi and free digital music in Austin, the �free-est wireless city in the world� and self-proclaimed music capital of the world. The Partners offer Austin Wireless users over 500 iTunes songs�1.5 days of music when played back-to-back�far exceeding an earlier Starbucks/T-mobile/HP offering based on a single CD.

Beginning today until the end of the SXSW 2004 Music Festival and Conference, Austin Wireless users will be able to enjoy hundreds of songs for free while using free WiFi hotspots all over town. Throughout February and March, customers using a Wi-Fi enabled notebook computer while at Austin Wireless locations can listen to performances from the likes of D:FUSE to the Buttless Chaps. The digital music content, powered by SXSW 2004 using Apple iTunes music share is available at no cost to Austin Wireless users who have downloaded the free iTunes player from Apple Computer and logged into an Austin Wireless hotspot.

�Bringing together free music and free WiFi is an exciting opportunity to give WiFi users another reason to support the businesses participating in the free WiFi movement,� said Rich MacKinnon, President of Austin Wireless.

In addition to offering customers of small and independent businesses a free WiFi service, venues are able to offer interesting on-site digital entertainment. Austin Wireless launched its first hotspot in September 2003 using the Less Networks platform. Today, its wireless broadband venues include 25 Austin locations � giving users high-speed wireless access to the Internet and their corporate intranets.

The Less Networks Free WiFi service made freely available to Austin Wireless and its venues, will also be extended for free to venues, providers, and wireless user groups outside of Austin. The service is currently available in 25 Austin Wireless locations to 3600 registered users. The membership is growing by about 50 per day in Austin alone and is expected to grow to 15,000 by the end of the summer.

�We launched the service in September 2003 with one location, and, given the positive response from our venues and users, we have added approximately one location per week using volunteers from Austin Wireless and services from Partners in Free WiFi businesses,� said Less Networks Marketing Director Lorin Rivers. �Our users are telling us that offering the free WiFi service at local Austin businesses improves their quality of life in Austin. The venue owners tell us it helps their businesses and keeps them competitive with larger, national chains. Using WiFi shouldn�t have to mean patronizing a coffee chain when you would ordinarily walk to your neighborhood coffee shop down the block. Our users enjoy being able to stay connected for free, while they relax in unique Austin venues. Furthermore, not all WiFi users like to drink coffee. Some prefer beer. WiFi shouldn�t have to mean going to a coffee shop when you�d rather go to a bar. We look forward to bringing free WiFi to new customers in other markets.�

Usage of the Less Networks Free WiFi service at Austin Wireless locations continues to grow. With over 100 accesses per day, customers are finding that Austin Wireless venues are the ideal place to catch-up on work or email whether sipping on a cappuccino, or a beer.

To log into the Less Networks Free WiFi service and establish a connection, customers with a Wi-Fi (802.11b) enabled notebook computer, Tablet PC or Pocket PC simply need to launch their Internet browser from within a participating Austin Wireless location and log in. The Less Networks Free WiFi service is backed by high-speed broadband connections that are reliable and fast enough to accommodate the full spectrum of applications from checking e-mail to rich multimedia video. Austin Wireless window signs are visible near the entrance of all participating locations. A complete list of locations can be found by visiting the Austin Wireless hotspot finder on www.austinwirelesscity.org.

About Austin Wireless City Project
The Project is an initiative of Austin Wireless, Inc., a community-based wireless user group. For more information please visit http://www.austinwirelesscity.org or contact Rich MacKinnon at info @ austinwirelesscity.org.

About Less Networks
Less Networks creates downloadable customer-branded Free WiFi hotspots. Venues own their hotspot and manage it with simple web tools. Hotspot software lets venues communicate with their customers and log usage. Users gain access to all Less Networks hotspots and interact with others logged in from home or other venues. For more information, see http://www.lessnetworks.com.

About Partners in Free WiFi
A partnership of non-profit and commercial organizations supporting the spread and usage of free WiFi hotspots within communities. For more information please visit http://www.lessnetworks.com/static/partners.html

The source of this news release is PRWeb.

 

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