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Consumers Can Now Enjoy Google’s Lightning Fast Internet Speeds for Free

Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) Fiber is the fastest broadband Internet service ever created, with speeds up to 100 times faster than average. Yet, as Google builds this network, currently in three cities, there's no reason consumers should wait to take advantage of Google's Internet speeds. Already, the company is showing its superiority throughout the U.S., and consumers can enjoy it for free.

Starbucks lets consumers enjoy Google

Last year Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX  ) announced a partnership with Google to provide its free WiFi in more than 7,000 of its U.S. stores. The company had been a longtime partner of AT&T (NYSE: T  ) , but made the switch with promises to increase the speed of its WiFi by tenfold.


While Starbucks and Google are still in the process of their 16-month program to replace AT&T with Google services, recent research shows that the speeds might be even better than expected. According to research from, which compared 650 Starbucks locations, Google's WiFi had up to 18 times faster download speeds and six times better upload speeds.

For many consumers, public WiFi locations are a popular area for studying, research, or for work purposes. This is especially true in rural areas of the country where public library and fast-speed Internet connections are limited. Historically, public WiFi has been significantly slower than at-home, due to the number of connections and the traditional use of lower powered DSL equipment.

But much like Google has done with its Fiber Internet service, the company is reinventing public WiFi, an enormous win for the consumer.

This is just the beginning

Now that Google has backed up its rather aggressive claims regarding speeds, the company might find its services in high demand among other popular public WiFi spots. Starbucks' chief digital officer, Adam Brotman, has said repeatedly that free WiFi is important for the business, as it enhances the in-store experience and leads to enhanced sales.

Therefore, Google's rather impressive upgrade could attract more consumers to Starbucks stores. Not to mention, Google claims Starbucks locations where Fiber is present -- currently Kansas City, Austin, and Provo, Utah -- WiFi services will be 100 times faster than AT&T's old service. As Fiber rolls-out into 34 additional metropolitan areas, such speeds give businesses an even greater incentive to make the switch.

Other than Starbucks, there are countless businesses known for their free WiFi, and are competitive with Starbucks for customers who wish to use the service. In the chart below, a few of these companies have been named, but keep in mind, there are far more.


# of Stores


35,000 + worldwide

Dunkin Donuts/Baskin-Robbins

18,000 + worldwide 

Panera Bread

1,818 in U.S.

Best Buy

1,056 in U.S.


25,000 + in the U.S.


1,800 + in the U.S.


2,000 + in North America

With that said, exact details on the compensation that Google receives per Starbucks store remains a mystery. But even if Google charges the same $70 a month as it does for Fiber, then 7,000 Starbucks stores becomes quite meaningful long term. Conversely, it's a large loss for AT&T, a company that's already invested in infrastructure to build a network for Starbucks stores.

Foolish thoughts

Starbucks is a big win for Google, and the consumer, but the more meaningful outcome could be if other large retailers and restaurants decide to make the switch to Google. While Google's service today clearly outperforms its peers, the expansion of Fiber will one day, soon, put Google's WiFi on a completely different level in terms of performance. For the consumer, there really are no negatives to faster free WiFi, but for competing businesses, this all but shows one more example of how Google is completely disrupting the Internet service arena.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early-in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

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Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

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Brian Nichols

Brian Nichols is the author of "5 Simple Steps to Find the Next Top-Performing Stock: How to Identify Investments that Can Double Quickly for Personal Success (2014)" and "Taking Charge With Value Investing (McGraw-Hill, 2013)". Brian is a value investor, but emphasizes psychology in his analysis. Brian studied psychology in undergrad, and uses his experience to find illogical value in the market. Brian covers technology and consumer goods for Motley Fool. Brian also updates all of his new and current positions in his Motley Fool CAPs page. Follow Brian on Twitter and like his page on Facebook for investment conversations and recent stories.

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