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FreeFi Gets Travelers Online At OAK

Oakland International (OAK) now has new Wi-Fi service thanks to FreeFi Networks.

It is the second deployment for the Los Angeles, Calif.-based company’s content- and advertiser supported Public Internet Wi-Fi access; the first was at Denver International (DEN) in January. Service began Oct. 1 under a multi-year contract with OAK.

“Because Oakland International is the preferred airport for many business travelers in the Bay Area, it was the perfect location for our next major airport launch,” says Richard Bogen, FreeFi’s managing director. “After working with us for less than a year, Denver International Airport has become the world’s largest free Wi-Fi airport and is exceeding the revenue it made in previous years with its paid Wi-Fi service. We anticipate that Oakland will experience the same level of success.”

FreeFi’s sponsors include Microsoft, Toyota, Verizon, American Express, Charles Schwab, Holiday Inn, Zappos.com, Ford and Toshiba.

“The Port of Oakland selected FreeFi to provide this new service for Oakland International Airport because of the company’s reliability, service and proven revenue model,” said Steve Grossman, Director of Aviation for the Port. “We are pleased to offer this free service to our travelers, allowing them to keep in touch with business and personal contacts between flights.”     

FreeFi works in conjunction with equity and technical partner Front Porch using the Ultramercial platform. It creates custom and venue-specific environments, and soon plans to offer free and paid content to its users, such as games from Real Networks and Disney Video on Demand movies.

“Airport environments are perfect for advertiser-supported Internet access,” says Lawrence Laffer, FreeFi’s director of sales and marketing. “Air travelers like Wi-Fi, but don’t like paying for it. Our sponsors take care of that, but with a much higher ROI than signage and other forms of airport advertising. FreeFi provides marketers with significantly longer exposure time to their target audience through an unobtrusive marketing presence, far beyond what’s available through traditional modes of advertising.”