Right now, if you want to access the Internet in a Starbucks using their Wi-Fi connection you have to be a part of their rewards program to get it free.
That will change come this July when the coffee chain follows the lead of McDonalds and opens up their Wi-Fi network to everyone for free. According to this story by Claire Cain Miller in The New York Times, “as of July 1st its stores in the United States would offer free Wi-Fi, via AT&T, that anyone can reach with a single click. In case customers run out of distractions on the Web, Starbucks is giving them even more reason to sit and browse, by offering a variety of digital content through a partnership with Yahoo.”
“Starbucks is making the change just as many coffeehouses are experimenting with ways to cut off squatters who browse and do not spend. Some post signs asking people to continue buying food and drinks if they stay, while the more aggressive ones cover their power outlets with tape so people cannot charge their laptops.”