It took them a few false starts, but AT&T has finally made official its plan to offer free Wi-Fi access to iPhone owners. The free service will be available wherever the company offers a Wi-Fi hot spot, which includes 17,000 locations such as restaurant chains, airports, and Starbucks coffee shops.

To gain access, all users have to do is activate Wi-Fi within their iPhone settings panel, select the "attwifi" network, and enter their AT&T cell phone number (with area code) when prompted. Shortly they'll receive a message with a link that will work for 24 hours. AT&T's Wi-Fi service was already free to the company's high-speed Internet customers, but everyone else had to pay either $20 a month or $4 per session.