Starbucks Finally Brewing Free Wi-Fi for All

Last Updated Jun 15, 2010 9:18 AM EDT

In the beginning, Starbucks gave us Wi-Fi -- and it was not good. T-Mobile was the provider, and you had to pay for service. Then AT&T took over, eventually offering free service to existing subscribers. More recently, anyone with an active Starbucks card could get in on the Wi-Fi goodness.

Starting July 1, Starbucks will offer free, no-strings-attached Wi-Fi at all locations. 'Bout damn time!

If Dave's memory is as good as he claims, he'll confirm that I predicted this move years ago. You can't charge for Wi-Fi when other coffee shops are giving it away.

The question is, does this move come too late? I suspect anyone who routinely works out of a "coffee office" is already accustomed to going elsewhere. Are you more likely to set up temporary shop in a Starbucks now that the Wi-Fi is free and easy?

As always, share your thoughts in the comments.

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.


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