Internet and coffee shops go together like peanut butter and jelly, Sonny and Cher or Gru and his minions. May coffee shops like Starbucks have offered free Wi-Fi at locations across America in hopes to increase business, and it worked. Every professional, college student, or writer has spent many days and nights feverishly tapping away at their keyboards to finish an important proposal, term paper, or last chapter of the next great American novel, and Starbucks has welcomed them with open arms and piping hot cup of Joe.
According to Google, it is about to replace the slower AT&T Wi-fi at Starbucks' 7,000 locations around the U.S. with a faster internet service. The process will take roughly 18 months to complete and will start next month. Once the process is complete, Starbucks customers will be rewarded with internet speeds that are up to 10 times faster than it is today. Think of all the cat videos and snarky gifs that will be able to load 10 times faster. It will be glorious.
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While Starbucks has provided free Wi-Fi for years, the service is notoriously shaky and often unreliable, and when the service initially launched AT&T required users to have an AT&T smartphone or tablet to access the Wi-Fi network, the company eventually opened it up to everyone.
According to InformationWeek Mobility, when reached for a comment AT&T said, "Starbucks continues to be an important customer for us and we continue to provide them with a variety of services over AT&T's advanced networks, including the nation's fastest, most reliable 4G LTE network."
AT&T is unclear why Starbucks chose Google over it.
"While you'd have to ask Starbucks for any reasoning behind their decision, in our proposal we also offered up to 10 times faster network and Wi-Fi speeds, so the decision must have been based on criteria other than speeds,"
Google did not comment on which locations would be the first to see the change, but noted that it will be obvious to users when the change is made.