Starbucks has been offering Wireless internet access at its coffee shops around the US for ages… but while independent coffee shops typically go the free WiFi route, Starbucks started out charging for access. A few years back, the company partnered with AT&T to provide free access — but only for customers who registered for an account, and only for the first two hours. Now Starbucks is going one step further and offering 1-click access to AT&T WiFi at all of its US locations, starting on July 1st.
Starbucks also plans to launch a service called “Starbucks Digital Network” later this fall. The company will work with Yahoo! to provide Starbucks customers with free access to some paid sites such as the Wall Street Journal web site, as well as free downloads of “exclusive content and previews.”
In other words, Starbucks really wants to give you a reason to sit down and spend some time in their coffee shops. If you were planning on doing that anyway, then the new easier-to-access WiFi and the new content portal are nothing to complain about.