Leave it to Google to always be trying something new and exciting. Starbucks this week announced that it has dropped AT&T and is now going to partner with Google to provide free Wi-Fi at all of its coffee shops in the US. The new network should be almost 10 times faster, and will make Starbucks an even more popular destination for professionals who need to work on the road.
The transition to Google (which has made some recent changes to its Analytics interface) service is not going to be right away. Starbucks has said that it will start to switch over its busiest locations in the next month – that is the locations with the busiest usage of Wi-Fi. Starbucks thinks that it will take about a year and a half to roll out Google Wi-Fi to all of its stores across the US.
This is truly a big win for business users around the country. Remote workers and small business entrepreneurs have long used Starbucks for work purposes for the free Wi-Fi. The combination of comfortable seats, lots of power outlets, free Wi-Fi and good coffee make it a great place to work.
In the past, the free Wi-Fi at Starbucks was convenient, but the slower network speeds limited what a professional could do. It was good for checking email and to surf basic websites. But if you wanted to do a Skype business call, you were going to have problems.
With a 10X increase in speeds, Starbucks is going to be the top destination for all remote and mobile business workers. With such fast Internet speeds, you will be able to download a huge presentation in a few minutes. The fast speeds will even make it possible to hook up with virtual servers, and work as if you are sitting right next to the server at work.
We think that Starbucks customers should get more nice chairs and install more power outlets, because traffic is about to increase in their coffee shops.