Retail book seller Barnes & Noble began offering AT&T Wi-Fi access for free in its stores on Tuesday. Barnes & Noble struck the deal with AT&T to help showcase its ebook selection along with in-store events and activities.
Steve Riggio, Barnes & Noble CEO, said offering free Wi-Fi Internet access also fits with the company's efforts to be seen as a community center instead of just another book store.
The announcement is good news for laptop users, but it's especially welcome news for iPod touch owners that have felt left out of AT&T's Wi-Fi game. The company's hotspots have been open for iPhone users as part of their service contract, but before today's announcement required a paid service plan for iPod touch users.
iPod touch owners won't, however, be able to use AT&T hotspots for free outside of Barnes & Noble locations.
The addition of free Wi-Fi Internet access at Barnes & Noble locations will likely draw in more potential customers, and potentially help the brick-and-mortar retailer hold its own against online book sellers like Amazon.com.