Starbucks Wi-Fi Goes Free

Starbucks made wireless Internet access free at 6,700 company-owned stores as of yesterday.

That’s great, but Starbucks is still lagging McDonalds, which provides free Wi-Fi at 11,500 locations. That makes McDonald’s the largest provider of Wi-Fi hotspots in the country. And with its new line of McCafe coffee drinks, McDonalds is undercutting Starbucks on price.

I’ve been a devoted user of Starbucks Wi-Fi, using a Starbucks card to get up to two hours a day of free access. (Otherwise, it used to cost $3.99 for two hours.) It’s a great boon for travelers.

But on my camping trip this week, I’ve been to McDonald’s twice for Wi-Fi and to Starbucks once. The McDonald’s is closer — which is not surprising because the company has nearly twice as many wireless locations.

As for McDonalds’ lattes, I’ve had worse.


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