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Starbucks replacing AT&T with Google Wi-Fi in 7,000 stores

updated 11:16 am EDT, Wed July 31, 2013

Change in Starbucks Wi-Fi provider to take place over next 18 months

Google has made an agreement with Starbucks to provide the coffee house chain free Wi-Fi throughout the United States. The deal, which will apply to all 7,000 branches, will allow customers to access the Internet through their tablet, notebook, or smartphone through the new connection, which is claimed to be up to ten times faster than previously available in-store.

Currently, Starbucks offers free Wi-Fi through AT&T, and aims to replace all of the connections in stores over the next 18 months. Stores in Google Fiber areas are likely to be in the first wave of upgrades, starting in August, and will apparently provide 100-times faster connections than at present.

"Google has long invested in helping the Internet grow stronger, including projects to make Internet access speedier, more affordable, and more widely available," wrote Kevin Lo, general manager for Google Access, on the company blog, continuing "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."

It is unclear why Starbucks has made an agreement with Google for providing free Wi-Fi to its customers, as CNet reports that AT&T also offered similar connection speeds to Google in its own proposal. The carrier states it will continue to provide services to the coffee chain, stating "Starbucks continues to be an important partner for us."

Moving to Google for Wi-Fi is only one of a number of technology-related changes that Starbucks has made this year. The company recently rolled out wireless charging stations in a number of its Silicon Valley stores after a successful test in Boston, and started to accept in-store payments using Square in January.

by MacNN Staff



  1. prl99

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 03-24-09

    Don't like Starbuck's burned beans and having Google grab all my contact information and constantly send me advertisements is just another reason to stay away from these stores.

  1. SierraDragon

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 03-22-04


  1. sunman42

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-09-11

    So.... having Google read all my wireless traffic is better than NSA snooping how?

  1. Lifeisabeach

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 05-25-10

    "It is unclear why Starbucks has made an agreement with Google for providing free Wi-Fi to its customers..."

    It should be dead obvious. Google is simply providing a better deal in exchange for unfettered data mining.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    The better deal is probably Starbuck gets percentage of cuts from ads whomever click on them.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    Or perhaps premium placement of Starbucks ads?
    "It's been 3 minutes since you last got a cup of coffee. Order now, and save..."

    "Get your next cup of coffee in one of Starbucks' exclusive travel mugs, and save..."

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