Free Wi-Fi at McDonald’s: a Roundup

WiFi @ McDonald's

Image courtesy and ® McDonald's Corporation

Soon after ComputerWorld reported that McDonald’s will offer free access to its AT&T Wi-Fi hot spots, The Week published an article entitled “McDonald’s vs. Starbucks,” which surveys opinions on the move from around the blogosphere and other news outlets.

While the story in The Week focuses on articles that view the move, combined with the expansion of the McCafé line of premium coffee drinks, as an affront on Starbucks’ customer base, the original story frames McDonald’s decision as the logical response to an increasingly popular strategy in the service industry of reducing or eliminating premiums for Wi-Fi access.  In fact, ComputerWorld even quotes McDonald’s Chief Information Officer David Grooms as expecting to “appeal to customers who visit [McDonald’s] already.”

McDonald’s (in partnership with AT&T) plans to offer free Wi-Fi in 11,000 U.S. locations beginning in January, 2010.

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