It's always in threes: Three big pieces of Wi-Fi news today, folks, and I'll post more information as I have it.
Wayport is being purchased for $275m by AT&T: This is a purely logical move, because Wayport not only has 10,000 McDonald's that they operate the Wi-Fi service for under a direct contract and resell to AT&T for the telecom's customers, but Wayport is also the managed services provider--the outsourced company--that handles AT&T's "internal" Wi-Fi network of Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and other locations. The deal is cost conservation, bringing outsourced expense inhouse. With the close of the deal, AT&T's Basic footprint--free to its broadband, laptop 3G, iPhone, and some BlackBerry users--expands from 17,000 U.S. to 20,000 U.S. locations, sweeping in premium hotels and other locations.
Is TKIP dead, already? A report in advance of the PacSec conference from IDG News Service says that researchers have found a non-brute-force method of sending data to a Wi-Fi client that it accepts was transmitted by an access point. I've gotten more information than the IDG reporter, and the attack works only on small packets and only with the weaker TKIP key type that's part of WPA and WPA2. The stronger AES key method isn't vulnerable. This isn't a generic vulnerability, and is likely to be of concern only to corporate users.
Virgin America has press flight set for 22-November: I'll be on the plane if all goes well. The promotional flight of the one Wi-Fi equipped craft will be followed each week by an additional plane being unwired with the whole fleet set for Internet access by Q2 2009.