Wi-FiWhen you are out of your office or house, usually the first place you think to visit for Internet connectivity is a coffee shop. However, are you sure they really want you there?

Back on August 6th, The Wall Street Journal ran a story on how smaller coffee shops have begun placing all sorts of new rules on laptop users in their establishments.  Some are banning users during certain hours, others won’t allow you to plug in your powers cord and some others are just banning them all together unless you are eating at the same type you are typing.

In short, it appears that coffee shops are no longer going to throw their doors open to the legions of computer users who like to stay mobile.  While it has been a mutually beneficial relationship between customers and coffee shops for years, but it seems that may be destined to go the way of the dinosaurs.

Well, CNET News is reporting that Starbucks wants to remind their customers that laptop users are still welcome in their locations and that they can stay as long as they like.  The official statement from the company makes this very clear:

We strive to create a welcoming environment for all of our customers. We do not have any time limits for being in our stores, and continue to focus on making the Third Place experience for every Starbucks customer.

While it is easy to see both sides to this situation, I have personally been a big believer that Wi-Fi is going to become mandatory in all bars, coffee shops, restaurants and so on if the business wishes to stay competitive. Whenever I am going on the road, I will not stay in a hotel if they do not at least offer me some sort of Internet option.

Will this extend to coffee shops?  Well… you can have a latte with Wi-Fi or a latte without Wi-Fi, which are you going to go for?

Categories: Wi-Fi   
 

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