Free Wi-Fi Takes Off at Houston Airports
September 22, 2014

HOUSTON – The Houston Airport System (HAS) has taken a major step forward in enhancing the overall customer experience at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), as it begins to unveil free Wi-Fi service for all customers and guests. Free Wi-Fi is now available in all terminal areas at Hobby Airport, as well as in Bush Intercontinental Airport terminals A and D. Free Wi-Fi will continue to launch in phases at IAH over the next few months and should be completed by the end of 2014.

“Not only do our customers gain access to free Wi-Fi service, but they’re also enjoying a major upgrade  over the previous fee-based system,” says Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz.  “This new system improves speed and reliability, and it also introduces our customers to one of the most robust Wi-Fi networks found in any U.S. airport.”

The new free network boasts faster speeds and easy connection to the web. Connection speeds will average up to 6 megabits per second (Mbps) — more than enough data to handle a rich-streaming video. With a strong internet connection in mind, hundreds of access points were installed at IAH and Hobby Airport to ensure a reliable network. 

While the introduction of free Wi-Fi service does require a phasing plan that calls for coverage to be established at different facilities at different times, the end result will introduce blanket coverage at all public facilities within the Houston Airport System. The rollout plan called for Wi-Fi service to be established first at Hobby Airport, with facilities at Bush Intercontinental Airport following shortly thereafter, due to its much larger footprint.

Hobby Airport and Bush Intercontinental Airport’s terminals A and D now offer free Wi-Fi, and the area of coverage includes ticketing lobbies, baggage claims, gate areas and food courts. IAH terminals B, C and E will launch free Wi-Fi before the end of the year. Plans to extend coverage in the garage areas at both airports will also occur later in the year.

“Our customers asked for a free and reliable Wi-Fi network when visiting Houston Airports, and this is our response and a huge step forward in enhancing our customers’ traveling experience, “ said HAS Chief Technology Officer Lisa Kent. “We are quickly working to launch the free service throughout the remaining terminal areas at Bush Intercontinental by the end of year.”

HAS incurred the cost of installing the network and will continue to maintain the infrastructure. Customers will not be required to watch advertisements before they connect. Users simply select the SSID, “Free Airport WIFI,” agree to the Terms of Use and connect to the internet.