Qwest announced today that service. will be using AT&T’s Wi-Fi network for the offering, providing access to 17,000 hot spots across the U.S. for Qwest broadband subscribers. “Mobility is important to our customers, as is value,” said Dan Yost, executive vice president for Qwest’s Mass Markets Organization in a company statement. “With free Wi-Fi, our high-speed Internet customers can extend the benefits of their Qwest broadband experience to the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network, powered by AT&T Wi-Fi.”

The move is not surprising. AT&T offers a similar benefit to its broadband base and recent reports have . With cable competitors on the verge of offering WiMAX service and a few already offering free Wi-Fi, telecom broadband providers are almost compelled to offer free Wi-Fi service. It is quickly becoming a standard for any viable broadband product offering.

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