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Surfin' LAX: Free Wi-Fi arrives at Los Angeles International Airport, possibly this summer

Photo by monkeytime | brachiator via Flickr Creative Commons

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners approved a plan on Monday with Advanced Wireless Group LLC (AWG) to provide free Wi-Fi internet service to travelers at Los Angeles International Airport.  

Until now, the LAX jet-set have been riding the Wi-Fi pay wave at $9.99 per session through T-Mobile. The new, free wireless internet service with AWG could begin as early as this summer, according to Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).

Here's how it will work: The first 45 minutes are free. After that, users can opt to pay for additional "premium and uninterrupted" Wi-Fi service for a 24-hour period, LAWA announced. LAX representative Katherine Alvarado told KPCC that plan details were forthcoming.

AWG will be required under the 2-year agreement to operate, maintain and upgrade the system for a minimum annual guaranteed revenue to LAWA of $283,333 in the first year, $380,000 the following year, and $420,000 in year three, if options are exercised.  

Airport officials see the new wireless deal as an "interim bridge" from the existing pay model to a better, long-term solution.

"I am very pleased that Los Angeles World Airports will soon be providing residents and visitors to Los Angeles with free Wi-Fi service while they are at LAX," Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa said in a statement. "This builds on our LA Wi-Fi Initiative to provide free or low-cost Internet services throughout the city," he added.

This story has been updated.

Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner