Starbucks (SBUX - Get Report) is dropping AT&T (T - Get Report) as its Wi-Fi service provider and turning to Google (GOOG - Get Report), which has said it can offer speeds up to 10 times faster than AT&T.
Google said it will provide wireless Internet in 7,000 U.S. Starbucks locations, beginning in new Starbucks stores over the next month. The service will then roll out to other locations across the country, beginning in the busiest locations where Wi-Fi is used the most.
Google said it will team up with telecom company Level 3 Communications in the effort.
According to a blog post by Kevin Lo, a Google general manager, Wi-Fi speeds could be up to 100 times faster than AT&T's service in cities where the high speed fiber optic network Google Fiber is available.Google and Starbucks also plan to create a new version of Starbucks Digital Network, which provides news content at the coffee chain's various locations. Financial terms of Starbucks' partnership with Google were not disclosed. Google's Wi-Fi service will continue to be free to Starbucks customers.
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