Starbucks switching from AT&T to Google for WiFi provider

Seattle -- Starbucks announced it has tapped Google to provide the next generation of its WiFi offering to its customers nationwide. Over the next 18 months, Starbucks will convert more than 7,000 U.S. stores to Google’s upgraded store network and WiFi experience.

AT&T, which currently provides Starbucks’ wireless access, will be replaced by the new initiative. Google will increase speeds and enable users to surf the web up to 10-times faster, according to Starbucks.

“Every day, our customers rely on the free WiFi 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 WiFi, Starbucks and Google will also work together to co-develop the next-generation Starbucks Digital Network, Starbucks said.

Starbucks and Google will work with Level 3 Communications, an international telecommunications company. Level 3 will upgrade existing WiFi devices and will manage in-store connectivity in more than 7,000 company-owned stores across the nation.

“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.