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Wireless Networking

Starbucks Frees Wi-Fi 241

Posted by kdawson
from the free-as-in-coffee dept.
CWmike sends in this excerpt from Computerworld: "Free unlimited Wi-Fi is coming to nearly 7,000 company-operated Starbucks stores in the US beginning July 1, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said on Monday. Schultz also said that Starbucks is partnering with Yahoo! to debut the Starbucks Digital Network this fall. Starbucks customers will have free unrestricted access to various paid sites and services, such as wsj.com, as well as other free downloads Starbucks didn't detail. A spokeswoman said the access will be 'unlimited' and 'simplified, one-click.' By comparison, first-time Wi-Fi users in Starbucks stores now get up to two hours free after registering, but then must purchase additional time at the rate of $3.99 for two consecutive hours. That Wi-Fi access is already free to AT&T DSL home customers and AT&T mobile customers, according to the Starbucks website, but the connection process requires up to nine steps. McDonald's added free Wi-Fi to 11,500 locations earlier this year."
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Starbucks Frees Wi-Fi

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  • Re:sure. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Monday June 14, 2010 @08:42PM (#32573404) Homepage Journal
    As I pointed out above, many sponsorless mom-and-pop style places whose prices are less than or equal to(and food and drink quality is much greater than) Starbucks have been providing free wifi for years, even on the beach in tourist-gouging San Diego -- where a mandadory 12% tourist tax is slapped on top of all hotel stays.
  • by MrCrassic (994046) <deprecatedNO@SPAMema.il> on Monday June 14, 2010 @09:52PM (#32573856) Journal
    This is a great announcement for those that consider Starbucks the only "real" cafe in their vicinity, i.e. suburban areas. Before I started branching out for different places to work at, I thought the same way: Starbucks has huge sit-downs with tons of outlets and decent coffee, so why should I have to look anywhere else?

    This year, however, I've learned how far from the truth that notion really is. While I still stop at some Starbucks places sometimes when I'm on the move, I always prefer to do my work at a smaller, more personal cafe. They are usually much smaller than Starbucks and are definitely not as widespread., but the key is that they usually serve REAL food (in fact, some coffee shop owners grow their own fruits/vegetables in the cafe's backyard) and REALLY good coffee at cheaper prices. Additionally, the handful of people that run these cafes actually like their jobs, which I'd wager is probably because the patrons of such coffee houses are not the type that only care about getting their morning fix, regardless of their attitude. (They are almost universally Mac users, though.) It also helps that these places almost always have free Wi-Fi and MUCH better music selections.

    I know I'm already way off-base (go ahead and mod me down if you think so, though if you've read this far, why would you?), but it also saddens me how Starbucks managed to turn the cafe into a McDonald's like franchise, drive-thrus, working conditions and all. From the many baristas that I've shot the shit with, their jobs really suck and are akin to working at McDonald's (minus the low pay and usually inept managers), which is exactly OPPOSITE to the way working at cafes should be. They're experimenting with starting a new tea house branch; I wonder how that'll work for them in the long run.

    Nonetheless, free Wi-Fi is always good Wi-Fi.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 14, 2010 @10:40PM (#32574138)

    So much of the rest of the world (eg Europe, bar stupid Germany) has had free wifi in these places for so long now, its odd to see the US only just catching up on this stuff...

  • by SvnLyrBrto (62138) on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @01:15AM (#32574884)

    > Anyway, I have no problem with Starbucks. I just think they provide
    > an inferior product to what I can get elsewhere. When I lived in a
    > different place that had fewer choices, that wasn't the case.

    See, here's the thing... In The City, Berkeley, and parts of San Jose, I know exactly where to go for a much better cup of coffee than I can get at Starbucks. In the rest of the Bay Area, Yelp can probably direct me to a better cup of coffee if I'm willing to drive to it. But if I'm somewhere unfamiliar, and outside an area that has lots of Yelpers doing reviews; I have no idea whether joe schmoe's local coffee shop is decent or if it's swill. But bad coffee is far more common than good.

    With Starbucks and Peets I get at least a reliably better-than-average cup of coffee. And if I'm in an unfamiliar location, or a better coffee shop is too far away, and Yelp isn't helpful where I am; it's better than taking the chance of getting swill.

  • Make your own!! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 15, 2010 @10:56AM (#32578416)

    All these people with laptops, and now I can't find a seat. This is why I bought a good coffee grinder and a French press for about the cost of 30 cappuccinos. This makes me wonder, how does free wifi increase revenue? Does free wifi increase the need for espresso?

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