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April 20, 2009

BT serves up Wi-Fi at Starbucks

650 stores get wireless Internet access

By Steve Evans

BT has announced it has won a contract with coffee retailer Starbucks to provide Wi-Fi Internet access to over 650 stores around the UK and Ireland. The contract lasts for five years.

Rollout is already underway – BT estimates that the first store will go live this week with full implementation completed this summer.

The deal means that BT’s 4.6 million home broadband customers, as well as its Openzone customers, will be able to access the Internet or make VoIP calls as they enjoy their morning latte.

O2 iPhone users will also be able to access the Internet for free at Starbucks stores thanks to an agreement between O2 and BT Openzone.

Chris Bruce, CEO of BT Openzone, said: “Use of our Wi-Fi doubled last year and coffee shops are increasingly popular as a third place to work or log on to the internet. We’re constantly looking to boost the choice of places to connect, where people want it. The location of Starbucks stores in the high street and travel hubs is helping to extend the reach of Wi-Fi to customers.”

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