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

One company now lets you enjoy Google WiFi for free, but more are sure to follow.

Aug 16, 2014 at 1:00PM

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.

Sbux Coffee


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!

Brian Nichols owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Google (A shares), Google (C shares), and Starbucks. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google (A shares), Google (C shares), and Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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