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Starbucks said yesterday that wireless, high-speed Internet connections – better known as Wi-Fi – now is available in more than 3,100 of its cafes, just two years after the company first introduced the service.

According to the company, Wi-Fi is believed to be instrumental in keeping customers in its stores longer and at off-peak hours – which results in more sales of lattes and cappuccinos. On average, people who use the chain’s Wi-Fi systems patronize a Starbucks eight times a month, stay online for an hour during each visit, and tend to do so during non-peak hours.
KC's View:
From our perspective, the almost ubiquitous availability of Wi-Fi at Starbucks stores around the country is one of the things that keeps MNB in business, making it possible to do our research, post the site and keep up with our email from the road. And we’re hardly alone.

Neither is Starbucks. We were recently in a c-store that offered free high speed wireless Internet access to laptop-bearing shoppers…which struck us as extraordinary.

The only question: Why isn’t everybody doing offering Wi-Fi?