Starbucks unlimited free Internet Wi-Fi coming to Canada in July

starbucks-logoThe premium coffee retail chain Starbucks has announced today all Canadian company-owned stores across the country will have free and unlimited Internet access starting on July 1st.

The company already offered WiFi Internet access across locations, but customers required an account with login credentials to use the Internet in the stores. The preceding Internet access system even had a maximum time of two-hours to use the service.

There are currently over 1,000 Starbucks locations in Canada, with about 770 of them being company-owned.

Starbucks said it would extend its almost six-year-old partnership with Bell Inc. to provide the Internet service in all stores across the country.

Starbucks president and CEO, Howard Schultz, said the move came as customers reported the current system was too complicated, and arguably, even costly.

Starbucks is not the first retailer to offer unlimited and free of charge Internet access.

The world’s largest fast-food chain, McDonalds, selectively started offering free Wi-Fi in its restaurants in 2003.

Today, McDonalds offers free Wi-Fi across more than 11,500 stores in the United States, with the program to be expanded in Canada.

Wi-Fi access today in Canada is not only scarce, compared to other parts of the world, particularly in Europe, but it is costly, even at large chain hotels.

For example, at the Sheridan hotel in downtown Toronto (the location across City Hall on Queen St), Wi-Fi access will set you back CDN $30 for a mere couple of days.

The move by Starbucks and McDonalds should at least serve as a starting point for other retailers to at least begin offering Wi-Fi in their respective stores, and even free of charge.

The Starbucks stock (NASDAQ:SBUX) is trading up about half a percent to $25.12 per share in early morning trading.


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Peggy holds a Bachelor Arts degree with honors in Economics from York University in Toronto, Canada. She is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). She has also passed Level I of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program. She is also a realtor. Write to peggy@business2press.com
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  • Ryan

    If you think wifi in Canada is costly compared to Europe then you have another thing coming. Free wifi in hotels in Europe is completely unheard of to start and the pricing makes it look like a pittance here. Try 24 euros PER NIGHT for net access in Germany, 20 euros per night in france. Sure we have a long ways to go, but get your facts straight before you start throwing nonsensical statements like that around

  • Ryan

    If you think wifi in Canada is costly compared to Europe then you have another thing coming. Free wifi in hotels in Europe is completely unheard of to start and the pricing makes it look like a pittance here. Try 24 euros PER NIGHT for net access in Germany, 20 euros per night in france. Sure we have a long ways to go, but get your facts straight before you start throwing nonsensical statements like that around

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