I read a story about Wayport, a local Austin company, who earned a contract to provide wireless access points in over 6,000 McDonalds restaurants by the end of the year.

"Twenty-four million people a day visit a McDonald's," Lowden said. The fee will be $2.95 for two hours of access, but the average user only utilizes the hot spot for 20-40 minutes, which means the sales may be hugely profitable, he said.

If I was running McDonalds, I would offer free wi-fi just like they offer their patrons free use of their bathrooms. During the 1970s, I still remember my father having to pay a dime to open a bathroom stall door at the airport. I thought the whole idea of charging to use the bathroom was completely ridiculous. As a customer, I feel the same way about having to pay to use Wi-Fi.

-Chris