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$100m wireless Internet deal

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Compaq has signed a $100 million, five-year deal to give Starbucks customers high-speed, wireless Internet access with their latte.

Starting this summer customers will be able to connect via their own wireless-enabled devices, through a local network picked up over the airwaves in each store. They will also be able to log on via iPaq handheld computers that Compaq has agreed to throw in as part of the deal.

Compaq expects to equip 500 Starbucks cafes with wireless Net access, including New York, Seattle and California, by the middle of summer. By 2002 it hopes to have around 70 per cent of the coffee empire's stores kitted out.

The agreement also names Compaq as the preferred IT supplier for Starbucks' 4,100 coffee shops and its Seattle headquarters. ®

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