SBC unwires McDonald’s

SBC this week said it will offer Wi-Fi wireless service in 6,000 McDonald’s restaurants through an agreement with Wayport.

SBC will roll its FreedomLink service out to the McDonald’s sites by the end of next summer, which will significantly increase SBC’s Wi-Fi footprint. Earlier this year, SBC announced plans to turn up 1,500 Wi-Fi hot spots in The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. locations by the end of the year.

SBC is also offering Wi-Fi access in schools and hospitals within its 13-state region. And the RBOC has aggressive plans to deploy 20,000 hot spots in 6,000 venues over three years via a roaming arrangement with Wayport.

Wi-Fi, or wireless fidelity, refers to any wireless LAN product that's based on the IEEE 802.11 WLAN standard with theoretical data rates ranging from 11M bit/sec to 54M bit/sec.

As Wayport deploys Wi-Fi in McDonald's restaurants nationwide, the agreement will give SBC FreedomLink customers unlimited access to these hot spots, SBC says. The agreement also calls for SBC to provide business DSL Internet access to Wayport for backhaul transport at McDonald's Wi-Fi restaurants in SBC’s 13-state region.

FreedomLink costs $19.95 per month. Non-FreedomLink customers can access the McDonald’s hotspots at the Wayport rate of $2.95 for two hours.

Later this year, plans to bundle FreedomLink with its SBC Yahoo DSL service and offer it at a discount to SBC Yahoo DSL subscribers. 

SBC says it is selling more than 3,000 home Wi-Fi gateways a day to SBC Yahoo DSL customers who wish to set up a wireless LAN in their home.

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