Starbucks Dumps AT&T Wi-Fi for Google, Level 3

The last time you were working on your latest business proposal and sipping a java at Starbucks, you probably weren’t thinking much about who was providing that free Wi-Fi. Well, AT&T is, particularly now that Starbucks has given the carrier the boot.

The Seattle-based coffee giant has chosen Google to provide what’s it’s calling the “next generation” of Wi-Fi to its customers. Starbucks says customers in its U.S. stores will, starting in August, get speeds that are up to 10 times faster than what they’ve been getting with AT&T. The entire conversion will be complete in 18 months.

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 theyre 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.”

Beyond Wi-Fi, Starbucks and Google said they will also work together to develop the next-generation Starbucks Digital Network. The companies will work with Level 3 Communications to bring faster Wi-Fi connectivity to Starbucks stores. Level 3 will upgrade existing Wi-Fi devices and will manage in-store connectivity in more than 7,000 company-owned stores across the nation.

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 theyre 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.”

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