Beginning August 2013, the WiFi connectivity at your local American Starbucks is likely to become much faster. Google has just announced a major partnership with the coffee chain in this blog post:
Coffee shop + Internet—it’s a pairing that many of us have come to rely on. WiFi access makes work time, downtime, travel time and lots of in-between times more enjoyable and productive. That’s why we’re teaming up with Starbucks to bring faster, free WiFi connections to all 7,000 company-operated Starbucks stores in the United States over the next 18 months. When your local Starbucks WiFi network goes Google, you’ll be able to surf the web at speeds up to 10x faster than before. If you’re in a Google Fiber city, we’re hoping to get you a connection that’s up to 100x faster.
Google has long invested in helping the Internet grow stronger, including projects to make Internet access speedier, more affordable, and more widely available. 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.
The ambitious project is going to unroll in every Starbucks in the United States! I guess I am going to have to switch over from Caribou to Starbucks as my preferred coffee shop… (Grudgingly so, I might add).
Here’s a thought: I’ve read multiple times that Starbucks has had problems with people mooching their WiFi for hours (sometimes not even buying a product while inside the store). Will this problem become exacerbated with the faster WiFi roll-out? My guess is yes.