Starting July 1st, 2010 nearly 7,000 Starbucks stores will have FREE Wi-Fi inside their coffee shops. This is a change from their previous AT&T Pay-For-Access system they had in place, which charged users $3.99 for any usage after 2 hours.
The NEW Wi-Fi is still through AT&T, but they will eliminate the complex Register and Log-in system they had before. The new system for accessing their FREE Wi-Fi will be a shorter one-click process. They are also going to offer some content through a partnership with Yahoo! This will be called the Starbucks Digital Network and will offer FREE access to premium content from Wall Street Journal, Zagat, and iTunes.
There is the problem of having people come to Starbucks, or any other free Wi-Fi spot, just to use the Internet, without purchasing anything. There is currently NO purchase required to use their Wi-Fi, but sitting in a Starbucks for an hour, it would be hard to resist buying a coffee, or for non-coffee drinkers, a vanilla frappuccino.
Picture Inside a Starbucks
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