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Free Wifi….

Now I am sure that most of you will have heard that McDonalds Australia is about to switch its wifi from the WAY WAY OVER PRICED Telstra model to the “Free” model. This I have to say is one very smart move from them and is a good way to keep those kiddies coming back for more. Of course it might actually get me near the stores as well.

I have been known to park in the carpark and surf for weather information when driving up in the Hills of Melbourne, but if I can go into a store and get a coffee (a real one not that crap hot water stuff) I might just do that to check emails (or even twitter) whilst I am out having a drive.

http://www.freewifi.com.au/listing_mcdonalds_summary.php has a great list of what stores have free wifi and what stores don’t.

Now before you all think I have turned into another mcdonalds advertising agent… lets look at this from a differenet prespective.  Firstly, it shows that the Telstra pricing model didn’t work!.. If it had macca’s wouldn’t be making it free!  Secondly the “free wifi” with your Iphone for telstra users also wasn’t working, and for the same reason….  Perhaps despite all the hype there were just not enough Iphone users going to maccas for a burger and wifi.

See I am not a Telstra users (I have a back 3g sim that I use on long road trips) and I am not an Iphone user, so the Wifi at maccas cost 20c a minute for me.  That starts to add up quickly when you think about out.  Now of course this all new all free maccas does come with a caveat… Internet sessions are not time-constrained but do have a 50MB limit applied. Which is the equivilent of using the Sydney morning Hearld home page for under an hour (the page weight is over a meg and it auto refreshes!)  But if you are smart and use the mobile friendly pages you can stretch that out for a bit of surfing…

Would you like wifi with that...Take this photo for example.. Maccas wifi on Swanston Street was turned off during renovations.. and so they put aup  sorry sign.  The reason for the sign is expectation.  Even for the paid model.  But soon it will be free. What that means now also is that FREE Wifi is starting to be seen as something fast food and cafes need to have. I know that I make decisions on where to go for a relaxing coffee based on who has wifi and who doesn’t, and I know that once kids work out that Maccas has free wifi and hungry jacks doesn’t the kids with their iphones and nokias are netbooks e.t.c are going to hang around up the front.

Gen C makes content, Gen C shares content, and now maccas has acutally become an enabler in this.