McDonald's Begins Serving Free Wi-Fi At Most US Locations

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News Posted: Sat, Jan 16 2010 1:48 AM
Hearing that "someone is working on it" is one thing, but now the homeof the Golden Arches (and those "all white meat chicken nuggets) hasfinally done the deed. No, we're not talking about swapping out thosejuicy, all-beef patties for veggie slabs. We're talking about in-houseWi-Fi, and lots of it. Making good on a promise it made earlier in theyear, McDonald's has rolled out free in-store Wi-Fi in "most" of its USstores. As of 1/15, the vast majority of McD's eateries should haveInternet signals floating about, and all you'll need to take advantageis a Wi-Fi enabled smartphone or PC.

All told, Wi-Fi has been added to around 11,500 of the company's 14,000locations, and of course, it's completely free to those who pass by. Itwill be interesting to see if other fast food chains and stores ingeneral begin to take notice here and try to mimic it. We love havingfree Wi-Fi at McD's, but considering that it's a "fast food" place, wearen't generally sitting down for long periods of time when dropping byfor a large free and a huge tea. What would be awesome, however, is itmore and more retail outlets and eateries began to copy this model.Wi-Fi is so easy to get these days that it really should be broadcastpretty much everywhere. If the place that somehow thrives on a "dollarmenu" can afford to offer Wi-Fi at no charge to consumers, there'shardly an excuse for everyone else.



It's about time the Internet become truly ubiquitous, don't you agree?
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Great move by McDonalds! This will give them an advantage over other fast food restaurants.

Starbucks should have done this years ago.

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rapid1 replied on Sat, Jan 16 2010 2:41 PM

I agree Gibber and with as many locations as they have the coverage availability map is guagantuan

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kid007 replied on Sat, Jan 16 2010 3:19 PM

while they make you pay in starbucks for wifi, I'm loving it free wifi that would mean that you don't need to use your 3g or 4g for you laptops anymore. to bad that this country you cannot get a plan for your mobile that is not unlimited....

imagine this a 300mb/monthly use for data on cell phone. you spend most of your time using work wifi, home wifi and like mcdonalds wifi. you really would not use that 300mb in a month make sense?

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Caribou coffee has free wifi. I'm just saying it would make a lot of sense for a coffee shop like Starbucks to have free wifi.

The only downside to free wifi is that customers might spend extra time in your coffee shop sitting and browsing the internet. McDonalds doesn't have that problem as much because students usually don't go to McDonalds to study like they do at Starbucks.

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rapid1 replied on Sat, Jan 16 2010 11:22 PM

Very true Gibber but everyone can use extra business. The added points of connection seem to just go up and up today. Oh and the reason they want you to sit in your coffee shop is because they will buy extra stuff. Think about who was first with free wifi the giant book stores in there coffee shops. Of course those establishments have a whole not more merchandise on site. Either way I remember years ago bars and noble had it on the north side of atlanta stores years back now.

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rapid1 replied on Sat, Jan 16 2010 11:24 PM

Plus in a store like that where it is centered in the coffee shop you could most likely use G which is cheap and might even be able to get away with Wireless A for as much area as you need to cover at least with some repeaters.

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ClemSnide replied on Sun, Jan 17 2010 4:20 AM

And McDonalds' coffee is 69¢ for whatever size you order (though why would you order anything but the large?). If you can put up with the panhandlers and the screaming kids, you have a great deal going.


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And their coffee is very underrated. Screaming kids is another reason McDonald's customer seating turnover rate is high.

@rapid1 You know, I never thought about it like that. Anything that keeps your customers in the store longer will equal more sales. Free wifi would make a lot more sense in a bookstore coffee shop. So B&N used to have free wifi at one point? Hmmm, wonder why they changed that.

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rapid1 replied on Sun, Jan 17 2010 12:32 PM

Well gibbersome I imagine it will go back to free especially as it becomes more present in the market. Micky d's having it worldwide will be a very large proponent to more free wifi everywhere because of there numbers location wise. So if the Micky D's which I can almost guarantee is most likely within a half mile of any mall or strip mall where a barns and noble would exist it would be kinda retro effecting for them to charge as they would loose customers to the free wifi up the street. Plus Wireless N has such a range that at many places you'd see both networks I bet. I know the B&N I was referring to has both a BK a movie Theater and a Mickey D's with 100 yards of there door.

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The free wifi is only in most US stores. I don't know if they have a plan to extend this service worldwide anytime soon.

I agree though, with McD's free wifi, the coverage will extend to alot of Malls...and parking lots, lol. With Ipod Touch's and Wifi-enabled smartphones, there's a growing sector of the market that will appreciate free internet.

Free wifi is no longer the sole province of laptops!

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Bighorse replied on Sun, Jan 17 2010 5:52 PM

Big Macs and FREE WIFI, two great things bundled together. Soon everyone will be trying to draw people in with free WIFI that you can just relax in your recliner and have many options for free internet. I need to start working on a big wheel to spin when I want to pick which hot spot I wanna log into. HAHAHAHA.

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Lol, it might be even good to live right next door to a MacDonalds!

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Greasy food + a notebook = Nightmare....Can't say I'd start going there for the wifi.  Especially since someone was robbed last semester for their McDonalds, in one of the school parking lots, don't think I'd want my laptop there anytime soon.

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True, but the trend is wifi-enabled smart phones and media players like Ipod Touch are becoming a lot more popular. MacDonalds is seeing this trend develop and is perhaps positioning themselves to take full advantage of it. It's not just about laptops anymore.

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Soupstyle replied on Tue, Jan 19 2010 5:39 PM

Yup, make sure that you bring your wet naps to clean those greasy paws!

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Or you could just go there for coffee. The tables at my local McD's are clean enough for my laptop.

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gibbersome:

Or you could just go there for coffee. The tables at my local McD's are clean enough for my laptop.

and they actually have decent coffee.

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rapid1 replied on Wed, Jan 20 2010 3:36 PM

yeah my McDonald's is clean and they are generally centralized and convenient as well as everywhere that's the main point I am making about the coverage.

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ClemSnide replied on Thu, Jan 28 2010 9:41 AM

Update: No Wifi in Philadelphia McDonalds (the ones I've been at ) as of 1/28/2010.


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caos420 replied on Fri, Jan 29 2010 7:35 PM

is that on the dollar menu?

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caos420 replied on Sat, Jan 30 2010 5:32 PM

I'll take a Big Mac,large frie,Sweet ice tea and oh ya some free WiFi.

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