Photo by quinnanya, feature photo by Robert Scoble

After years of holding out, Starbucks will join every other cafe on Earth in offering free wi-fi starting July. If only some hotels would do the same.

When I lived in Korea, I was spoiled with free wi-fi at all the cafes – including Starbucks. It bothered me that I had to give them my visa number to do it, but that was easy to forgive when the result was unlimited wi-fi in a comfy place to work.

I schlepped my laptop to a Starbucks in Texas when I returned, ready to do some writing, and was unpleasantly surprised to find out U.S. Starbucks had yet to acknowledge that charging for wi-fi is just greedy. Because isn’t it?

I took a four day road trip from Texas to Washington early this year, and spent three nights in three different “cost efficient” hotels. Each and every one with free wi-fi. This July I’m going to be in L.A. for a conference, staying in as close to a luxury hotel as I’ll ever get. Internet? $9.95, and it doesn’t say how much time that buys (but it’s certainly not unlimited).

Are we at a point where we should expect free wi-fi from these places, or is it still just a bonus to be appreciated? Tell me what you think:

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