updated 12:15 pm EDT, Wed June 30, 2010
Starbucks Wi-Fi free through ATT and Bell July 1
Starbucks on the eve of its free Wi-Fi access said the plans would now cover Canadians. The July 1 rollout had originally only been described as covering Americans, but the coffee shop has now reached a deal with Bell Canada for similar access. In either country, the new service is a single-click sign-in and doesn't have the previous two-hour time limit.
The reversal of the once pay-only policy may be a competitive necessity for Starbucks, as many smaller and usually independent shops now offer Wi-Fi for free or at lower rates. These, and now Starbucks itself, have counted on customers buying more drinks and food in compensation for possible side effects, such as customers that spend most of their day at the store. [image via Henri Bergius]