McDonald’s to Add Free Wi-Fi

Internet-hungry customers will enjoy McDonald’s latest value offer—free wireless Web connections. At approximately 11,000 of the chain’s 14,000 domestic locations, Wi-Fi is available for $2.95 for two hours, but beginning in mid-January the fee will be lifted. The shift comes as McDonald’s announces a partnership with AT&T, which will provide the Web access; the fast-food joint also plans to begin selling smoothies and frappes by mid-2010 to generate more of a coffee crowd. “We’re becoming a destination and free Wi-Fi just naturally fits,” said a McDonald’s exec. “This is another long-term investment that we see helps McDonald’s stay relevant as a brand in the marketplace.” Starbucks charges $3.99 for two hours of Internet service.