Starbucks

Most fans of Starbucks know about the free WiFi that the coffee company offers. It's currently offered by AT&T and while it isn't the fastest connection, it is reliable enough to get some work done. This morning Starbucks and Google announced that the search giant will be taking the reigns on the free WiFi for all stores based in the United States (sorry for all of you who live elsewhere).

Google claims the WiFi they will provide will be 10x faster and in some cases will be 100x faster (if it's a location where Google Fiber is also available).

Last month Google and Starbucks announced a partnership that allows you to listen to Google Play Music All Access for free while connecting to WiFi at a Starbucks. This deal furthers that deal and will make All Access much faster than the current connection. It will be interesting to see what, if anything else, is down the road for the two companies.

Google-provided WiFi in Starbucks will begin in August and will rollout to all US-based Starbucks stores after that.

Source: Official Google Blog

 
There are 35 comments

Robbzilla says:

That almost makes me want to (gag) go to a Starbucks.

mcgowan398 says:

Ha, I know...not my very first choice for coffee ✘✘

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MissyHaney says:

Questions:

(1) what's in it for Google?

(2) What's AT&T's involvement(or lack of) in all of this?

(3) why can't Google provide free wifi on all commercial airlines in US airspace?

(4) do people really still get coffee from Starbucks? I got tired of it and haven't gone into a store to chat with the cute baristas for years

(5)

still1 says:

(1) Google will be paid for providing the service.
Starbucks gave the contract to Google, it was with ATT before
(2) Answer 1
(3) Answer 1

icebike says:

Google is going to be using the existing AT&T connections and equipment, because there are just too many stores to change out all that gear, and Google fiber isn't
everywhere. Most of these circuits and some of the equipment was in place before AT&T got the contract.

You can't re-provision all 10,787 starbucks stores in the US with new equipment any time soon. And Google doesn't have technicians to do this in-store work. So the vast majority of the work will still be done by the service companies (AT&T sub-contractors usually) that handled it previously.

The wifi service is provides under contract, but the actual feeds to each store can be quite different, with ISDN lines in some places, Cable Modems in others, depending on what is cheapest in any given area.

Sometimes (most of the time) this is a separate feed, and other times its just piggy-backing on the corporate data network that Starbucks has in place world wide.

But the wifi stuff is always on a separate vlan, with a separate wifi router.

wsmather says:

Thanks for the information!

Sicily1918 says:

1. They would log the surfing habits of everyone at Starbucks -- that alone's gotta be worth some serious ad revenue (and I'm assuming they may get paid by 'bucks for the service as well, although, knowing Google, maybe they'd rather make it up through ads?).

2. Hopefully nothing -- much like when, before AT&T, it was a T-Mobile Hotspot™ and it actually worked.

3. I hope they're trying. That would seriously be awesome.

4. Come on, don't write things like that -- it makes you come off as narcissistic; just because *you* don't go isn't indicative of the population at large. I'm not trying to sound snarky or anything, so please don't take it as such.

I know people that don't go to Starbucks, that go to Starbucks (yes, I'm serious -- we were at a Starbucks discussing how they never go, even though we'd been meeting there on a regular basis for months).

5. This space intentionally left blank :)

garciaop says:

yeahhhhhhhhhhhh i think it will be better besides been faster

n0obpr0 says:

Fiber!!

icebike says:

Re-think that.

There are 10,787 Starbucks stores. Probably no more than 300 are sitting anywhere near a Google Fiber plant.

At most they will slowly just up the bandwidth on their existing connections using their existing feeds, with Google taking over management of the existing contracts.

TheNexusMan says:

Google=Awesome

Keith IsReal says:

That person said this makes them want to gag...that's funny but I'm glad att is gone. The internet was always spotty even with less that 5 users. I hope Google does a way better job.

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glazedfaith says:

I think they were saying that this making them want to go to Starbucks made it gagworthy. As in, wtf are they doing at Starbucks.

etnpnys says:

For crying out loud it couldn't get much WORSE than it is at my Starbucks. It drops my connections about a dozen times every morning while I'm there.

This partnership sounds like it wouldn't change out any of the hardware, though, and that it's more of a sponsorship partnership. Hopefully the connection gets more reliable.

icebike says:

Exactly.

As for reliability, that may improve but it won't be quick. Just too many stores to upgrade.

Its been my experience that you stores full of Cell phone users have good reliability.

A dodgy looking character on a laptop usually means trouble.

sjpn says:

I agree. I always bring a hot spot (2 actually) because wifi in nyc Starbucks usually sucks.

fightcrazy says:

Great stuff by Google. I get a kick out of all the doubters and haters asking "what is in this for Google" who gives a flying shit, they are giving the customers lightning fast wifi connection free. That is great news. If Google gets something out of it I say good for them. My only complaint is share some of this super fast and free wifi to Dunkin Donut, my coffee joint of choice.

Daedalus says:

Google will get trapped ad revenue. Everyone that signs into the Starbucks WiFi will have to see a page with an add on it, Google gets paid!!!!!

Treatz says:

Let me know when it Hits the real coffee company, Tim Hortons

They need to come to Houston. We have a lot of expat Canucks in the oil biz.

gtbarry says:

I wonder how secure it will be.

wsmather says:

Good question. I always wonder about that, even when there is a password. Because some places just password protect in order to (try to) limit the number of users on their system, not necessarily to secure the connection. Makes me think twice about using public wireless.

Eclectech says:

What's in it for Google? Seriously, have you tried using Starbucks' current AT&T provided WiFi? It's awful. By providing better WiFi, people will actually be able to watch YouTube videos and perform Google searches and listen to Google Play ...you know, ..basically use the internet, which would in turn allow Google to get more ad dollars because you're visiting their sites.

buffdaddy72 says:

Great news for all the students and out of work authors and screen writers out there!

They'll now have more incentive to go to Starbucks and show off their shiny new Macbooks and slurp overpriced coffee.

JR A says:

Good news for Starbucks.

Even though I think Starbucks coffee tastes burnt/over roasted and the only way to enjoy it is fill the cup to the brim with cream/milk/sugar, I'm glad they're getting the faster connection.

Starbucks saved my butt a couple times when in need of internet, and because Starbucks is everywhere it definitely saved me some time; but of course the internet was dreadful by today's standards.

I just wish Peet's Coffee had a similar deal. I like their coffee much, much better.

mech1164 says:

If I just want to get my mail I go to Starbucks. If I need to DO something then I have to go to a public library. At least there I had decent internet. Now with this if the connection is good and FAST!! I can sip some JOE and do what I need without worrying if i need to talk to someone.

thefive0guy says:

Google has yet another opportunity to get its name and fiber idea in the minds of people. This is a great idea from a marketing standpoint.

icebike says:

Google has no plans to lay fiber to every Starbucks. Just get that idea out of your mind. Not going to happen.

With the change in providers, maybe now they can throttle by device so the customer in the corner streaming internet porn doesn't kill the network for everyone.

Yeah I'm not the biggest fan of Starbucks for taste, but the times I do end up there the internet provided by AT&T has been quite shoddy; it'll be nice to see Google rolling out this internet upgrade for reliable internet services, Google usually does quite well with that. Hopefully this includes the Barnes & Noble Starbucks cafe locations too.

vr002sh says:

Starbucks = burnt coffee = charbucks

Let's bring this to Saxbys

twassel says:

The word is "reins", not "reigns".

wsmather says:

If this does improve the wireless connection at Starbucks, and as a result attract more people, I wonder how Starbucks plans to deal with the folks that camp all day, using Starbucks for their office. Some stores have already taken to covering their power outlets in an effort to discourage laptop users from plugging in and hanging out 8+ hours a day, day after day....

http://tinyurl.com/3qp6lt7

Malik Nash says:

It's good to be a Kansas Citian.

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Razgriz24 says:

yfw you realize that most of the people who frequent Starbucks are Apple users and now are using Google WiFi.