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Starbucks to offer free Wi-Fi at U.S. sites

June 14, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
In a move to bring in new customers, Starbucks will begin offering unlimited free wireless Internet access at all company-operated U.S. locations starting July 1.Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz also announced plans for a new online customer experience called the Starbucks Digital Network, in partnership with Yahoo, which will debut later this fall.

This network, Schultz says, will be available only in U.S. company-operated Starbucks stores, and will allow customers free unrestricted access to various paid sites and services such as the Wall Street Journal, exclusive content and previews, free downloads, local community news and activities on their laptops, tablets or smart phones.

The move by Starbucks comes six months after competitor McDonald's Corp. began offering free Wi-Fi at 11,500 U.S. locations.