Day: January 1, 2005

  • Debunking Dave: McDonalds and Wi-Fi

    I’m not going to venture a guess on most of Dave Winer’s 2005 predictions. I agree with some and disagree with others. I am however going to debunk his prediction #12:

    12. There will be a wifi signal at the top of the Empire State Building and in every truck stop in the US. Also in every Best Buy. McDonald’s won’t embrace the Internet.

    I had Wi-Fi in a Palo Alto McDonalds over a year ago. It was during their initial launch period, so I didn’t even pay for it, they handed me a coupon for free access when I inquired how much the service was and how I could pay for it and log on.

    Of course this McDonalds is across the street from the original Frys in the heart of Silicon Valley. Maybe that was a bad example.

    Let’s look at the big picture then. McDonalds Wireless Site is down for maintenece right now “to help you find Wi-Fi enabled McDonald’s more quickly and easily.” I intepret that to mean that they just can’t keep up with the addition of new locations and need to revamp their site. The original site was just a bit map of the US with little blips in Chicago, New York, and a few other cities.

    If you head on over to the Wayport locations page, you’ll count some 40 or so states that have Wi-Fi McDonalds locations. I did a quick check on Maryland and found 13 locations with Wi-Fi statewide. There are 3 in Baltimore. The one down the street has wireless. There are 9 other Wi-Fi McDonalds locations throughout the state, though they are mostly in urban and suburban areas. What about other states? Texas has over 100. California has more than I’m willing to count.

    I think it’s a little too late to say that McDonalds won’t embrace Wi-Fi and the wireless internet. They already have.