News

Cisco and Facebook collaborating on free Wi-Fi project

Cisco and Facebook collaborating on free Wi-Fi project

GET CONNECTED: Facebook and Cisco could bring free Wi-Fi to a business near you. Photo: Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Cisco Systems Inc said on Wednesday it was working with Facebook Inc to offer free Wi-Fi Internet access to consumers at public places such as hotels or retail stores using their Facebook log-in.

A visitor could check in at a hotel without having to line-up at a front desk by simply signing in via the Facebook application on a smartphone, Cisco said.

The company also demonstrated how it might work at a hospital as Chief Executive Officer John Chambers gave a speech at the Interop technology conference in New York.

Chambers said retailers could deliver tailored promotions or information to consumers who check in through Facebook when they arrive at a store.

Cisco said some customers of its Connected Mobile Experience Wi-Fi technology are currently testing the system.

While Cisco is looking to sell network equipment, Facebook appears to be following arch-rival Google Inc in collecting data on the shopping and Web browsing habits of customers so it can offer targeted ads.

Earlier this year, Google announced plans to bring free wireless Internet access to 7,000 Starbucks Corp cafes across the United States.

As part of their deal, Google will also help develop a version of the Starbucks Digital Network available to customers, putting it in a strong position to offer targeted advertising and promote the music and other media it sells.

Recent Headlines

in National

American fighting with ISIS killed in Syria

Fresh
mccain

An American suspected of fighting alongside Islamic State militants has been killed, U.S. officials say.

in National

American freed by Syrian militants excited to be free

Fresh
syria

A U.S. writer released from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria is doing well and is excited to be free, his mother says.

in Weird

Bear heads stolen from remote Maine cabin

Fresh
brownbear

A thief broke in but didn't get the jewelry and electronics that most burglars seek.

in National

Obama woos vets with health care, home loans

Fresh
legion

The President sought to make amends with veterans, announcing expanded mental health care and lower home loan costs for military families.

in National

U.S. names Conn. official to lead Obamacare marketplace

Fresh
obamacare

The Obama administration named a leader to oversee private health insurance offered to consumers in 36 states.