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August 1, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Faster Wi-Fi at Starbucks?

File photo Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

File photo Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Does your Starbucks barista work way faster than your laptop? Good news: The company is planning to speed up its Wi-Fi connections.

Working with Google rather than current provider AT&T, all company-owned stores in the U.S. will be upgraded over the next 18 months, according to Google.

“When your local Starbucks Wi-Fi 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.”

According to Mashable, “Starbucks stores are currently equipped with T1 lines, which have data speeds of about 1.5 megabits per second. Adam Brotman, chief digital officer for Starbucks, tells Mashable that Starbucks is working with Google and Level 3 Communications to upgrade each store with a variety of solutions — including DSL, cable modems and multiple T1s — depending on what’s appropriate.”

The new service will be available in some stores as soon as next week, according to the Wall Street Journal, though of course there’s a catch: “The partnership also offers Google a new channel through which it can sell advertising and pitch products,” such as offering seasonal drink coupons to customers as they walk into a store.

Readers had complained about slow wi-fi in a Starbucks Gossip post last year titled “Starbucks/AT&T want to make sure you have the world’s worst Internet experience,” though some employees and customers in the comments blamed the delays on large numbers of customers streaming music, videos, and movies. (One claimed he’d even seen an Xbox.)

“Not going to lie, but sometimes I wish people would treat Starbucks like the cafe it was meant to be: enjoy your coffee, socialize with friends, meet up and cultivate relationships,” one wrote.

Comments | Topics: AT&T, Google, Rebekah Denn

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