McDonald's Wants To Be the Starbucks of Brazil
By Eric Lin, Wed Oct 29 02:45:00 GMT 2003

McDonald's and HP are teaming up to provide internet access (free, with purchase) to every location in Brazil- all 584 of them.

Public internet access is dominated by the T-Mobile Hot Spot - Starbucks tag team in America, but McDonald's is getting into the Wi-Fi game here. In five cities, you can get an hour of free WiFi with the purchase of a value meal or salad in some restaurants.

In South America most people do not own computers, let alone Wi-Fi enabled laptops or PDAs, but McDonald's will be offering customers internet access at every location in Brazil by mid-2004. A few Internet kiosks will be provided at each location (by HP) and customers will be allowed to use the kiosks for a given length of time with a minimum purchase.

Probably due to the high cost of computing, and a largely tourism based economy, internet cafes and parlors are everywhere in South America. Typically you pay a modest price for a modest computer and a very modest connection. If McDonald's gives away this same level of service or better with a small purchase, I imagine there will be a sharp increase in the number of Brazilians eating Big Macs (and consequently their cholesterol?).