Google has just announced via a blog post that it will be offering free, faster Wi-Fi hotspots at all U.S. company-operated Starbucks locations, which will get up and running sometime within the next 18 months. Google says that its speeds should beat the existing hotspots at the coffee shops by at least 10x, and in Google Fiber cities like Kansas City, that should jump to a 100-fold boost.
The first Starbucks Wi-Fi hotspots will start rolling out in August, so there’s not long to wait. The way to tell if your location is switched over will be looking for a “Google Starbuck” network SSID name from your device. Google has already rolled out free Wi-Fi access in the Mountain View community surrounding its HQ, and has partnered with Boingo in the past to offer free access at a variety of locations. Recently, it also offered San Francisco a considerable sum to set up free access in public spaces, with a rollout planned for completion in April, 2014 pending approvals.
Google replaces AT&T as the supplier of Wi-Fi at U.S. Starbucks company-owned stores, so it’ll be interesting to see what the result of this new deal has on that company and that partnership.