I'm a confirmed coffee house writer, also known in the jargon as a Bedouin. As such, I've avoided Starbucks like the plague, because, after selling me a $4 coffee, they want me to pony up to use their Internet access.

I have alternatives, coffee shops that give me free Wi-Fi and good java. Starbucks must have finally figured out that the few cents they make from pay-users isn't enough to make up for those of us who boycott the place, because they've just announced that later this year they will stop charging for Wi-Fi for the first two hours. This will take place as part of a move from T-Mobile to AT&T.

The company might also be reacting to the growing free Wi-Fi cloud spreading across our cities, or the entrepreneurs who have set up networks adjacent to Starbucks and undercut their access charges. Regardless of the motivation, I'm delighted that the company has joined the 21st century and opened up 18,000 new branches of my office.

Thanks, Mediapost

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