Coca-Cola is adding Wi-Fi to its vending machines

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How about some free Internet browsing with your ice cold beverage? Coca-Cola and British Telecom are teaming up to test out Wi-Fi-enabled vending machines in South Africa, hoping to bring invaluable online access to some of the poorest communities in the world. The scheme will start in two locations to begin with before rolling out further if it proves a success.

Web access can make a huge difference to education, healthcare and innovation within a community and both companies behind the project want to improve the opportunities available to local people. As yet there’s no word on whether the Wi-Fi-beaming boxes will expand globally — but it certainly hasn’t done McDonald’s any harm.

The Wi-Fi will be free to access and no Coke purchase is required to take advantage of it. The two sites chosen — in in Qunu, Umtata and Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga — are close to schools, shopping centers and taxi ranks. These sites were “strategically chosen for their accessibility” according to the press release put out by BT. >more

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