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AT&T and Starbucks Finally Launch Free WiFi; Not Really Free

Zach Epstein
June 3rd, 2008 at 9:38 AM

It’s here, it’s gone, it’s here, it’s gone, it’s here. It took a fair number of misfires and tweaks but AT&T and Starbucks have finally launched the free WiFi service we’ve been waiting for, well, for a long time. The catch? There are actually several. Truth be told, this free WiFi deal isn’t free at all. The two biggies:

  • Only available to paying customers: In order to access free WiFi, you’ll need to purchase and use a Starbucks card. Also, free WiFi access is only available to those who have used their Starbucks cards in the past 30 days.
  • Only available in 2-hour clips: Customers can only use WiFi for two consecutive hours each day. Want more? Get a paid AT&T plan.

So in its final released version, complimentary AT&T WiFi access is not being billed as “free”. Starbucks is calling it “a way to thank our loyal customers”. AT&T Laptop Connect customers with an applicable plan still have their own deal for free WiFi and we should be seeing something similar launch for smartphones this year as well. In the meantime you’ll need to keep sucking down that liquid crack to play without paying.

[Via Gear Diary]

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Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.




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