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Free Wi-Fi at 1200 McDonald's restaurants
Monday 08 October 2007 10:01:15 by Andrew Ferguson

McDonald's has announced it will be offering free wireless Internet access in 1,200 restaurants around the UK. lists the UK as having around 11,477 Wi-Fi hotspots.

Once McDonald's has got people through the door they will be hoping that people will buy something and thus drive counter sales up. Whether other providers will look to reduce the price of using their Wi-Fi networks is not known, but with free access in McDonalds and the recent BT FON agreement paying £5 for an hour of Wi-Fi Internet access looks very expensive.

Update 1pm: The full press release can be found at


Posted by adriandaz over 10 years ago
Except for Hull and some parts of East Yorkshire where the telecom SMP is Kingston, not BT.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 10 years ago
My local mcdonalds has had wifi for ages... dunno if its free to use though i couldnt force myself through the doors to smell burnt burger rolls and chip fat to find out
Posted by herdwick over 10 years ago
McD use BT Openzone hotspots generally, which are handy for travellers with Openzone accounts. Not clear if this will be free Openzone paid for by McD or another provider coming in.
Posted by herdwick over 10 years ago
Wimax is an irrelevance as far as I can see. Hotspots are generally shared ADSL connections so not much use for more than a few customers per location.

I don't see why getting 1/Nth of a connection in an inconvenient location will ever affect pricing of a whole connection in the home.
Posted by adriandaz over 10 years ago
herdwick, a few customers?

Surely more than a few customers would be able to use it at the same time? Unless they all want to come in leeching torrents or usenet ;)

My secondary school had quad-bonded ISDN and that was fine for about 150 computers.

However why someone would want to sit in McDs with any piece of WIFI technology is beyond me, round here it is likely to increase your chances of been mugged ;)
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 10 years ago
It could have a knock on effect among those who don't use their connections for much more than a bit of webmail and http browsing.
Posted by herdwick over 10 years ago
there aren't likely to be more than a few customers, in fact more than one is a rarity in my experience.

150 users on 512k, hardly a solution for the current climate. Sounds like something out of ISP Unhappiness.
Posted by adriandaz over 10 years ago
True herdwick :) however this was going back about 5 years or so, they subsequently got 2Mbit and now 10Mbit access... a happy ending.

I guess this applies more to people on the move, particularly at service stations, on the motorway etc.. rather than the McDs in the town centre or a shopping centre...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 10 years ago
The speed you get on the net while sitting down and munching on your big mac is kinda irrelevant as you are not paying for the connection anyway.
Posted by atoman over 10 years ago
Ipod touch and an (I)MAC'donalds.. sounds like they are getting ready for the younger IPOD generation to me.
It is going to get other WIFI providers eg: Cafe Nero etal to stop and think about their charges and customer base ...students etc... so maybe Mcdo's strategy will have a knock on's hoping!
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