No Signal: Encouraging Interaction By Killing Coffee Shop WiFi

No Signal: Encouraging Interaction By Killing Coffee Shop WiFi

There is a growing movement away from the entrenched model of cafe as temporary office or free Internet usage point.

Dan Gould
  • 9 september 2010

There is a growing movement away from the entrenched model of coffee shop as temporary office or free Internet usage point. Increasingly, cafe owners are attempting to bring back the more casual or convivial atmosphere of the past by cutting the cord on Internet service.

Brand X reports:

Coffee shops were the retail pioneers of Wi-Fi, flipping the switch to lure customers. But now some owners are pulling the plug. Some find that Wi-Fi freeloaders who camp out all day nursing a single cup of coffee are a drain on the bottom line. Others want to preserve a friendly vibe and keep their establishments from turning into “Matrix”-like zombie shacks where people type and don’t talk.

That shift could gather steam now that free Wi-Fi is less of a perk after coffee giant Starbucks stopped charging for it last month.

…“People still desire and need actual interaction,” Temple University’s Simon said. “That dynamism is part of what makes us human. The coffeehouse is a manifestation of our desire for that connection to community and more vibrant life than in our homes.”

Brand X: “Bye-bye to Wi-Fi: Coffee shop Internet drying up”

See also: Rethinking The Modern Coffee Shop


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