Going to Starbucks for your coffee is going to get a lot sweeter from July 1. Howard Schultz, CEO of the coffee company, has just announced that from July all Starbucks nationwide will offer free WiFi to customers.
Using Wired’s Disruptive by Design business conference as a launching ground, Schultz explained that Starbucks wanted to:
embrace social and digital media and continues to look for new ways to bridge the third place coffeehouse experience with the digital world … recognized customers’ desire for a better in store Wi-Fi experience
That has lead to the decision to allow, “one-click, free Wi-Fi through AT&T in all U.S. company operated stores.”
Starbucks isn’t just opening the web in its coffee shops, but also implementing a new portal called the Starbucks Digital Network. It is being developed with Yahoo! and will allow customers free access to services that are usually behind a pay wall. One example given is full access to the Wall Street Journal website. There will also be exclusive content, free downloads, and news targeted at local communities.