I tried to begin this with the tune of Dire Straits “Money For Nothing” but it somehow fell short. I ran across the fact that AT&T is now going to be offering Wifi to Starbucks, and I wanted to figure out why I can’t get my free Wifi? I have been spending some time at a few of the coffee houses in Boulder, and most of them have free Wifi. They do a resounding business compared to non-Wifi places. I think it is a great value add for businesses to offer. So why hasn’t Starbucks gone to the free model yet? I suppose it is because they can sell a 50 cent cup of coffee for $5.95 for the same reason, because people will pay it.
It seems that AT&T has come up with the business model for Wifi that it has for phone service. Charge them until it hurts. They are still making money hand over fist in spite of VOIP and other things becoming available, or are they? Do they have to start charging for people to be able to use that VOIP connection on their computer? Brilliant…control the Internet distribution. With a Starbucks on every street corner, that might be the real strategy.