McD Wireless
July 9, 2003 6:17 AM   Subscribe

McD Wireless Beginning today, many McDonald’s restaurants around the Bay area will provide Wi-Fi with a side of fries... Previously discussed in March.
posted by sparky (18 comments total)
Through some 'wardriving', I've found that some newer McDonalds around me (central Fla) have wireless networks in place already. No internet access is advertised though. Maybe the drive-thru video screens are 802.11b?
posted by ejoey at 6:44 AM on July 9, 2003

help me understand why we're discussing this again?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:49 AM on July 9, 2003

I can't wait till the kid behind the counter, who can't get your order right in the first place, is giving tech support because your WiFi connection is not working.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:54 AM on July 9, 2003

Ew, greasy greasy laptops!
posted by themadjuggler at 7:02 AM on July 9, 2003

If McDonalds comes out with a new sandwich or something, be sure to post it to the front page. I like to keep abreast of all McDonalds-related developments.
posted by jon_kill at 7:13 AM on July 9, 2003

Are the routers supplied by Cisco or Crisco?
posted by stonerose at 7:31 AM on July 9, 2003

Oh, I see. In March they said they were gonna do it. Now they're doing it. So we need to discuss this new development of them doing it. OK.
posted by soyjoy at 7:43 AM on July 9, 2003

OK, forget this is about McDonald's that you hate. It seems that every firm adds WiFi access to their place. Now, back to business. Here is a very interesting article from The Economist predicting a WiFi bubble.

Basically, the system is not simple enough and firms need to use a middleman, in McD'c case Wayport. The middleman will charge for this service and the price goes up. McDonald charges $5/h way above the $1-2/h considered in the linked article.

The coming shake-out in Wi-Fi will force operators to identify which of their many hotspot locations make sense. They should concentrate on business users, advises Andrew Cole of Adventis, a telecoms consultancy. The bubble, he says, is in consumer Wi-Fi. Hotspots in coffee shops, cinemas and malls will mostly prove uneconomic. Gartner predicts that the number of hotspots in retail outlets will peak in 2005, and then decline, as uneconomic hotspots are switched off.

On the other hand, there are 'people who get it'.
posted by MzB at 8:31 AM on July 9, 2003

Geez, you guys are a pleasant bunch. I brought it up because the story is developing and now there's an official website. Thought it was interesting to see what happens next. Apologies all round!
posted by sparky at 8:33 AM on July 9, 2003

Why would McDonalds need wireless connectivity? Eat one McGriddle and you're not going anywhere for a while.
posted by herc at 8:43 AM on July 9, 2003

McDonalds' doesn't strike me as the kinda place where anyone would whip out their notebook.. it's just too.. seedy. Then again, these people who carry notebooks around everywhere and use them at every opportunity seem like big saddos to me anyway.

sparky: Dismiss the nay-sayers. They're probably communists who don't believe in progress anyway.
posted by wackybrit at 9:18 AM on July 9, 2003

From the trenches:

As I live down the block from one of the wi-fi'd McD's in Manhattan, I've hauled my laptop over on three separate occasions to try and test out the system. Unfortunately, all three times, neither the cashiers nor the on-duty managers had any idea what I was talking about.

Sorry, McDonalds, but getting this program to work requires more than just plugging in new hardware; without employee training as well, the pilot should be rather short-lived.
posted by thomascrown at 9:36 AM on July 9, 2003


They're just lucky I'm not a lawyer.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:51 AM on July 9, 2003

jon_kill and stupidsexyFlanders : So, it's inappropriate to make a post about a large company like (gasp) McDonalds providing Wi-Fi in their restaurants, but perpetuating what have become the new memes on Metafilter of being too good for a post (but unable to keep from posting yourself), or chanting Pepsi Blue every time a large corporation is mentioned.

I don't come to Metafilter for Newsfilter, nor do I come here for outright negativity. Not every post will meet your standards of quality and I just don't see what's so hard about ignoring posts you aren't interested in. That seems far more productive than, at worst derailing the thread and, at best, adding nothing positive.

As for the post, I actually find this interesting. I remember when wireless was such a new technology that seemed so distant, destined to remain in the realm of internet cafes (which, as big a geek as I am, I was never able to bring myself to enter).

I see wireless in McD's as a step toward widespread acceptance of wireless. How long until whole cities are covered in wireless clouds (downtown Athens has one)? Or Wal Mart even (I pity the user that makes that post).

Not a great post, but certainly better than contentless snarks IMO.
posted by untuckedshirts at 11:11 AM on July 9, 2003

Here here Mr Shirts, enough of the 'lame post' comments folks. I clicked the comments link to see what people had to say about the article not to read how worthless some elements thought the post was.
posted by zeoslap at 2:37 PM on July 9, 2003

brentashley was part of this and talks about it on his weblog.
posted by republican at 7:31 PM on July 9, 2003

I stopped by the local McDonalds today, and was able to get online. I blogged it over at my site (with pics).

I had the same problem that ThomasCrown mentioned, namely clueless counter staff and managers who repeatedly denied that they had wireless access, despite the signs all over the store. It took a while for me to convince the manager to give me a coupon for the free 2 hour trial, but he finally tracked it down.
posted by bjennings at 7:49 PM on July 9, 2003

I'm watching this with interest, since I own one of those Internet Cafes that untucked doesn't dare enter. We tried wireless earlier this year. I've taken it out because: (1) there's no charging scheme that works easily (2) support is a nightmare (3) it seems that the few who have wireless also have an ethernet port so I can just chuck them a cable which is much simpler and (4) there are plenty of free experimental wifi points and the whole culture of wifi seems to be that you hunt around and dont pay.

I could be wrong about this, the UK is behind the US in takeup of WiFi and obviously it matters to me. Very interested in different views.
posted by grahamwell at 10:38 AM on July 10, 2003

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