Monday, June 9, 2008

Wireless and Coffee

I'm hanging out at Waves Coffee this morning.

There are 11 poeple in here. All 11 are working on laptops.

This is a somewhat substandard coffee shop. Poor ambiance. OK coffee. The only reason all these people are in here is because it's got free wireless access.

Starbucks doesn't have free internet anywhere around me. I'd frankly rather go there. I like their coffee shops more. But instead of free Internet access, they charge $5 for a connection. And I have a bit of an issue with paying that much for something that is essentially free.

Which is not a big deal. That's a decision that Starbucks has made and I'm sure they've spent a lot of time sitting in boardrooms debating it.

But a related thought occurred to me today. Starbucks is a big supporter of literacy projects. Part of their stated reason is because coffee shops were the original universities and centers of education, centuries ago. But wouldn't you argue that the internet is becoming the centre of education now, and that we should embrace opportunities for learning and interacting via the Internet. And then, if Starbucks truly believes in this objective, shouldn't they be providing free Internet access in their stores to promote literacy, learning and interaction? The $5 charge seems to be counter to their stated aims.

Plus, I'll be most of these 11 people would be in a Starbucks right now, if they had Internet access.

Just a thought.

1 comment:

Rusty said...

Hi nice blog :) Yeah very true, Starbucks is expensive enough without having to pay for wireless!