Recently, McDonald's announced they are bringing WiFi to their restaurants. This is a good thing. When they first announced the plan in March they were giving you a free hour of wireless with the purchase of an extra-value meal. Currently, at least at the one around the corner from me, it costs $2.99 for a day's worth of internet. Not too shabby. Then again, how often are you going to need to surf while at McDonald's?

I have been reading in a few blogs and magazines about the decision to charge for wireless or to give it away. Pretty much everyone agrees it is better, and cheaper, to give it away. I can't remember numbers right now -- nor can I remember the places I read this -- but I know that it would be very cheap to give it away. Let's say it's $50/month for high-speed access and $100 for a wireless router. This means it would probably cost you a few bucks a day to run the service. Even if you have to get a business account it wouldn't cost you more than $5 a day, which is definitely worth it.

On the other hand, if you were to charge for service you would have to pay for the software as well as the customer support, which would greatly increase your daily cost. Granted, money would be coming in, but I think that shelling out $5 a day to drive in more customers is worth every penny. If your employees didn't give away one double mocha venti cappucino then your daily costs would be covered.

In other news, the name of my wireless network is "Free Internet!"