Google to offer free Wi-Fi at all 7,000 US Starbucks stores
Google announced on Wednesday that it would soon offer free Wi-Fi connections to all 7,000 Starbucks stores in the US.
Beginning in August, Google's Wi-Fi network will roll out in Starbucks stores over the next 18 months. Google said you would be able to browse the web 10x faster than before, while those who live in a Google Fiber city will get 100x faster speeds.
In a bid to make the internet more accessible, Google said it had long invested in making the web widely available, such as launching Google Fiber in certain areas, and the company will clearly continue this trend by providing Wi-Fi at Starbucks.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Google was partnering with Level 3 Communications to offer the service, which is more robust than the T1 connections previously provided at Starbucks stores by AT&T. AT&T will supply Starbucks with other services, but customers can only access the Web through Google and Level 3.
"The free Internet connection at Starbucks has become an important part of many communities over the years, such as in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, or for students without Internet at home who do their homework at Starbucks," wrote Google on its blog. "We appreciate your patience if it’s still a little while before we get to your favourite Starbucks—you’ll know your new network is ready to go when you can log in to the 'Google Starbucks' SSID.
Starbucks has offered free Wi-Fi in the US since July 2010, although it originally allowed customers to web surf if they paid $3.99 for two hours of access.