OAK BROOK, Ill. (

TheStreet

) --

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get Report

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

Journal

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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

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

, which provides McDonald's stores with wireless Internet.

McDonald's move could step up the pressure on

Starbucks

(SBUX) - Get Report

, whose turf McDonald's has imposed upon with its specialty coffee drinks, the

Journal

notes.

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