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Thursday, September 18, 2008

McDonalds Not Serving Up Wi-Fi In Canada

With the exception of a few "hot spots" McDonalds customers in Canada are being shut out by the fast food giant when it comes to Wi-Fi access. While the company has been rolling out service in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Japan and Australia on a large scale. In some markets McDonalds charges a small fee, $2.99 for 2 hours in the U.S., while in others like the United Kingdom the service is free. In Canada however only a handfull of the company's 1,400 restaurants are designated as "hotspots." Depending on who you listen to the reasons vary "If you look at who owns the wireless networks, it's all telcos, and they have no interest in promoting Wi-Fi because it competes with their network," said Eamon Hoey, senior partner of market strategy consulting firm Hoey Associates. "We're just behind on the technology. We're lacking terribly in competition and innovation." While Lawrence Surtees, principal telecommunications analyst for IDC Canada. says "There are a number of chains and retailers that have Wi-Fi so technically it's not a problem," and "That kind of rules out some nefarious carrier factors." So what's up in Canada McDonalds?