Starbucks is just trying to cover its costs. Sure, leasing a broadband connection with a Wi-Fi base is cheap. But add a billing system - secure login server, transactional database, credit card processing, tech staff, customer service operators standing by - and the outlay skyrockets to $30, $50, even $70 a day, particularly if there are lots of support calls. (Ironically, most of those calls will be about problems with the billing system itself.)... Wi-Fi isn't a luxury or even a commodity. It's a condiment.
If we leave out any of these three concepts then we lose.