Free WiFi Coming To Starbucks Next Month
Starbucks' Howard Schultz paid a visit to the Wired Business Conference today and announced that Starbucks will be partnering with Yahoo to provide free WiFi to customers at about 60% of its U.S. locations beginning July 1. Starbucks shops in airports, grocery stores and other combination locations will not have the free service.
Currently, Starbucks has a partnership with AT&T to provide the service: AT&T DSL customers have free unlimited use, and Starbucks card holders get 2 hours a day of gratis WiFi. If you don't fall into one of those camps, you have to pony up 2 bucks an hour for internet access.
But that all changes in a couple weeks (including, hopefully, the irritating gateway sign-on process) when the new non-exclusive partnership begins.
This looks like a mixed bag: if you like to hit the net from Starbucks, or if you're on the road and tired of wardriving to find a network to grab your mail, it's great. If you think there are already too many irritating hipsters with Mac Books in the place, well, maybe not so much.