McDonald's plans to offer secure wireless broadband links in stores worldwide under its alliance with iPass. The strategy means McDonald's Wi-Fi hotspots will need to be certified as 'enterprise-ready' by iPass, a global provider of secure virtual network connections to corporate customers. 'We see iPass, and specifically the service uniformity and quality gained from their enterprise-ready service specification... as an important part of our Wi-Fi programme moving forward,' said Mark Jamison, McDonald's senior director of business development. Silicon Valley-based iPass has already integrated select McDonald's restaurants in California, Idaho, Oregon, Illinois, Wisconsin, Washington and New York. 'As we consolidate our Wi-Fi plans in the United States, our global initiative will likely involve many Wi-Fi operators across our worldwide operations,' he said. Outside the United States, iPass has forged agreements with the fast-food chain's Wi-Fi suppliers that have committed to becoming enterprise-ready, such as China Telecom in Shanghai and Guangdong, and Easy-Up in Taiwan. McDonald's also plans to serve up wireless broadband internet links to customers in Hong Kong. When combined, the Wi-Fi connections at McDonald's outlets in the mainland and Hong Kong will be the biggest such deployment for the chain outside the US. More than 30,000 McDonald's restaurants serve 47 million customers each day in more than 100 countries. More than 80 per cent of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent, local entrepreneurs. The enterprise-ready scheme by iPass involves passing a rigorous testing regimen that ensures service availability as well as interoperability with corporate policy-based security systems such as virtual private networks, personal firewalls and virus protection.