Monday, June 14, 2010

Starbucks to offer free Wi-Fi

The news is abuzz today about Starbucks offering free Wi-Fi at all of its locations. For those who frequent Starbucks may already know that Starbucks currently offers a customer loyalty card that allows customers to currently surf the Internet for free for up to two hours per day. Although the card is nice, some users may have needed to use the Internet for extended periods of time, if so, it would cost them a bit of money for every hour that they used past their initial free two hours.


Not only will customers receive free Wi-Fi starting July 1, 2010, but coming this fall, according to USA Today, Starbucks will offer free access to specific paid sites, here’s the rap from USA Today:

Called the Starbucks Digital Network, the program will give Starbucks Web surfers free access to paid sites like the Wall Street Journal, along with exclusive content and free downloads from other organizations such as Apple's iTunes, The New York Times, Patch, USA TODAY, Yahoo and Zagat.

The Starbucks Digital Network is said to not be starting until Fall of this year, even though the free Wi-Fi will be available come July 1. Starbucks will offer free Wi-Fi to a total of 6,700 sites in the United States. If you’re an avid Starbucks coffee drinker, things just got better for you.


If you recall, McDonald’s offered free Wi-Fi last winter to 11,500 of its stores. Starbucks’s move in this direction may be a ploy to combat McDonald’s in market share, who knows at this point. Also to note, on a technical standpoint, Starbucks, as does McDonald’s, uses AT&T to perform all of their Internet needs.


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