Free wireless internet for all – on Newbury Street

There’s already a well-established market for going wireless (making technology invisible) at home and at the workplace, but even at your local bakery?

If you frequent Newbury Street in Boston, chances are you’re pretty productive as well, as many of its cafes and shops provide free wireless internet access. Thanks to the work of the Newbury Open Network, there’s a national trend afoot to provide wireless internet access at every public establishment, as common as a bathroom or a payphone (remember those?).

Even Panera Bread is offering free wireless internet at its cafes and bakeries. Why? For starters, it’s practically free for merchants to provide if they already have internet access themselves, and it’s invisible. Second, as we head into the experience economy, providing reasons for people to visit and ‘get more than just bread’ is proving profitable.