Newark Airport now offers free high-speed internet for passengers
NEWARK — Travelers who have gotten used to paying for Wi-Fi at Newark Liberty International Airport but yearned for free internet access have had one of their wishes answered.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced it is bringing free, unlimited Wi-Fi to all of its airports. Those going through Newark, LaGuardia, JFK and Stewart International can expect speeds ranging from 20 megabits per second to as high as 50 megabits per second. Chairman Kevin O'Toole said the change is part of the company's goal to "develop world-class airports and operate them at the highest level of service and quality."
"With trending passenger growth across our airports, connecting to a free Wi-Fi network is not just an enhancement in customer service, but also an improvement in efficiency for our business and leisure travelers," O'Toole said.
Chief Technology Officer Robert Galvin said the Port Authority expects users to be able to access internet at speeds fast enough to watch movies through streaming services, conduct video conference calls, or download large files. Previously WiFi access varied by terminal, and even airline in some sections, with free service generally restricted to private airline clubs or for short periods of time in some sections.
The Port Authority is expecting more than 7 million passengers to go through the various airports during the upcoming holiday season, making free Wi-Fi that much more important whether they are arriving or heading someplace else. In the first six months of the year more than 66 million passengers flew through the airports, marking a 4.3 percent increase over the same period last year.
New signs at the airport will now direct travelers to choose the free network from their internet connection menu, and click on "Select Free Unlimited Wi-Fi." They may have to watch a short ad, after which their four-hour browsing access will start. The program also lets passengers have unlimited four-hour sessions.
The announcement of the free Wi-Fi comes shortly after the Port Authority broke ground a new terminal at the New Jersey airport. The $2.7 billion project is expected to result in a new "Terminal One" replacing Terminal A, one of the three main buildings used by airport passengers.
Terminal A has been in service since 1972. The new terminal is expected to be partly operational in 2021 and fully operational in 2022.