SEATTLE — Starbucks has long offered free Wi-Fi to its customers, but the coffee company has partnered with Google to offer up to 10 times faster network and Wi-Fi speeds at its U.S.-based stores.
Throughout the next 18 months, Starbucks will convert more than 7,000 U.S. stores to the upgraded store network and Wi-Fi experience.
“Every day, our customers rely on the free Wi-Fi at Starbucks to study, work, connect with friends or just relax. We want to make sure that they can access the Web effortlessly and quickly, no matter what they’re doing, or what device they are using,” said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer, Starbucks. “Our goal is to continue to provide our customers with the best in-store experience possible, and we are excited to offer these kinds of unparalleled experiences at a broad scale.”
In addition to providing faster Wi-Fi, Starbucks and Google will also work together to co-develop the next-generation Starbucks Digital Network.
“Google has always invested in projects that help the Internet grow stronger, including projects that make Internet access more affordable and more widely available. We hope that speedier Internet will make the time customers spend at Starbucks even more enjoyable and productive,” said Kevin Lo, the general manager of Google Access.
Starbucks and Google will work with Level 3 Communications, an international telecommunications company, which will be doing the actual upgrade.
“Level 3 is proud to collaborate with Google to help Starbucks deliver on an experience that echoes the needs of our more connected world,” said Anthony Christie, chief marketing officer at Level 3. “Whether they’re working on their laptops or searching the Internet on their smartphones, Starbucks customers will now have access to the fastest free connection available in any retail environment.”