Following successful test launches in NYC, Charlotte, NC and Chicago earlier in 2010, AT&T announced today that it plans to deploy more Wi-Fi Hotzones in certain major markets around the country. The first initiative will be to expand its current NYC coverage in Times Square, Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the next few days.
This is just in time for the New Year’s Eve mob to gobble up bandwidth posting their drunken “Woos” and far-off shots of Ryan Seacrest for all of posterity. The next stop on the expansion tour will be new Wi-Fi access in Embarcadero Center in San Francisco.
The theory behind this move seems to be to get as many people as possible off of the broadband network wherever possible, in hopes of speeding up access for users. AT&T has caught a lot of flak for their network performance in highly-populated areas, dating all the way back to the launch of the iPhone. As one of our writers pointed out, perhaps it is cheaper to expand Wi-Fi access than it is to improve 3G data services.