In Kuala Lumpur, the largest city in Malaysia, Wi-Fi is now a mandatory prerequisite for food operators when they apply for their license to open a new restaurant, or when existing operators renew their license.
The Wi-Fi requirement will also be enforced on cafes, pubs, bars and club lounges.
Enforcement of the new law will begin in April of this year, but will only apply to restaurants owners operating on an interior property size larger than 120 square meters.
“The Wi-Fi service is in demand and food outlet operators who offer it will be giving their customers value-added services,” the city’s mayor told New Straight Times.
Kuala Lumpur’s Mayor claims a survey is being conducted to determine the number of eateries in the city that offer Wi-Fi. The survey will be conducted until March so Kuala Lumpur’s City Hall can set up a database roster of Wi-Fi-ready eateries.
“There will be no extra charge for the licensing fee. However, operators are subject to any charges imposed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission or Internet service providers.”
The Mayor added that the city council is considering installing Wi-Fi facilities at public food courts. “We are still studying the feasibility of installing them at public hawker centers,” said the Mayor.
A total of 1,500 Wi-Fi hotspots were activated in the city, including public housing schemes and commercial centers. The Mayor said City Hall did not continue the free WirelessKL service with its service provider because the council wanted to give other service providers a chance to offer better connectivity and value-added service to people in the city.
Kuala Lumpur’s City Hall had also posted a recent announcement on its website informing the public of the availability of Wi-Fi service at the Kuala Lumpur Perdana Botanical Park. It is only accessible for TM Internet account holders.
Back in the U.S., Starbucks offers free unlimited Wi-Fi at its company-owned stores, along with McDonald’s at 11,000 of its locations in the United States; Starbucks also offers its customers customized contentincluding free access to pay sites like the Wall Street Journal to draw users in and keep them around.
“Each customer must log in with a unique identifier, so Starbucks won’t only know where you are, but who you are, potentially allowing for targeted messaging to offset cost further,” writes Eliot Van Buskirk of Wired.