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Hertz, Wayport drive hot-spot deal

Rental car company follows in footsteps of restaurants and bookstores to feature wireless Net access at its airport locations.

Car rental giant Hertz announced Tuesday it has teamed up with hot-spot operator Wayport to offer wireless, high-speed Internet access at more than 50 U.S. airports.

The service is expected to be available in early 2005 at Hertz locations at airports in California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas.

The company is targeting travelers who have spare time to browse the Net or check e-mail before boarding a flight. The service will be available inside Hertz facilities and at some rental areas.

Wayport's Wi-Fi World users will get access to the hot spots as part of their Wayport service packages. Others will have the option of purchasing a one-time connection.

Hot spots are public areas where a wireless network has been set up to allow Wi-Fi device owners to access a broadband Internet connection. Such services are popular with businesspeople who travel.

In May, Wayport entered into a similar agreement with McDonald's. Customers can access the Net from inside McDonald's restaurants.

T-Mobile USA offers a similar service through partnerships with Kinko's, Starbucks and Borders bookstores and cafes.