Thursday, May 08, 2008

Is Free Starbucks Wi-Fi Coming To AT&T iPhones?

Earlier today the AT&T iPhone page noted that "Access to AT&T Wi-Fi hot spots" was included in all iPhone subscriber plans, with additional details that spelled out the extent of that access. "Unlimited Data (e-mail and Web), 200 SMS text messages and access to AT&T's more than 17,000 Wi-Fi hot spots, including Starbucks all for use in the U.S. *"Wi-Fi available at U.S. company operated Starbucks locations equipped with a hot spot."*

However by 5 p.m. EDT Thursday, all mention of Wi-Fi hotspot access had been removed from the page. When contacted by an AT&T customer service representative was unable to explain the change.

Just last week iPhone users at had discovered that they could access AT&T's wireless access points in Starbucks coffee shops and other locations, including some Barnes & Noble bookstores, by entering their iPhone telephone number.

Within 24 hours AT&T had turned off the free access and users reported that they were being asked to now enter a username and password where one previously wasn't needed. The closing down of the service could in part be due to some users using tools to fool the hotspot into thinking their laptop browser was still an iPhone. (more info)

Earlier today, AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel issued a blanket "no comment" when asked about the Wi-Fi information on his company's iPhone page.

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