For years, retailers such as Starbucks and Panera Bread have encouraged their customers to use wireless in-store Internet connections — usually, for free. Now, we can add McDonald’s to the mix, where Web access is sometimes used in a different way.
As reported by Anton Troianovski for the Wall Street Journal: “Joshua Edwards’s eighth-grade paper about the Black Plague came with a McDouble and fries. Joshua sometimes does his homework at a McDonald’s restaurant — not because he is drawn by the burgers, but because the fast-food chain is one of the few places in this southern Alabama city of 4,000 where he can get online access free once the public library closes. Cheap smartphones and tablets have put Web-ready technology into more hands than ever. But the price of Internet connectivity hasn’t come down nearly as quickly. And in many rural areas, high-speed Internet through traditional phone lines simply isn’t available.”
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