OAK BROOK, Ill. (
will soon begin offering free wireless Internet access at its U.S. restaurants.
McDonald's will lift a $2.95 fee that it has been charging customers for two hours of wireless Internet access, starting in mid-January, the
Wall Street Journal
reports, citing David Grooms, McDonald's chief information officer.
Grooms said the decision is part of an evolution of McDonald's into a "destination," where customers see it as more than a place to just get a Big Mac and fries.
"We're becoming a destination and free wi-fi just naturally fits," he said, the
reports. "This is another long-term investment that we see helps McDonald's stay relevant as a brand in the marketplace."
The free access comes under a partnership with
, which provides McDonald's stores with wireless Internet.
McDonald's move could step up the pressure on
, whose turf McDonald's has imposed upon with its specialty coffee drinks, the