google tv white spacesRealizing a 10-fold improvement in Wi-Fi network speed seems like a lot to hope for, or expect, but that’s what Starbucks was expecting when it switched from AT&T to Google last year. Turns out the results have exceeded expectations, according to SpeedSpot.

Downstream, Wi-Fi network speeds across over 650 Starbucks shops in the U.S. are 18 times better. Upstream, there has been more than a six-fold improvement, SpeedSpot writes in a blog post.

The results are based on over 1,000 speed tests from over 650 Starbucks outlets in the U.S. shared by SpeedSpot users in recent months.

Google Wi-Fi
According to the data, Starbucks’ Google Wi-Fi networks’ download speeds average 24.9 Mbps and upload speeds average 8.7 Mbps. That compares to download speeds of 1.3 Mbps and upload speeds of 1.2 Mbps that  Starbucks was getting from its AT&T Wi-Fi service.

“The difference is pretty incredible especially if one looks at the average connection speeds in the US reported as 10 Mbps (Akamai 2013) and 25.7 Mbps (Ookla 2014),” SpeedSpot comments. “With its move to Google, Starbucks is able to leapfrog their Internet services to speeds that are comparable to speeds users expect because they are getting these speeds at the home or the office.”

Starbucks announced it would be switching from AT&T to Google Wi-Fi in July last year. Starting out with new Starbucks shops, Starbucks’ Google Wi-Fi roll-out is now progressing across the more than 7,000 Starbucks shops in the U.S. If all goes according to plan, the entire project is expected to be completed by Spring 2015.

Internet service connections, as opposed to wireless 802.11g/n routers, were identified as the root cause of slower than desired Wi-Fi speeds experienced previously at Starbucks outlets, which connected to the Internet via single T1 lines providing 1.5 Mbps of throughput. That’s no longer the case, according to SpeedSpot’s report.

The fastest Starbucks-Google Wi-Fi download speed SpeedSpot recorded was at Starbucks at the Orchards Market Center in Vancouver, WA – 72.8 Mbps down, 17.7 Mbps up. The fastest upload speed was 39.1 Mbps (54.4 Mbps down) in the Starbucks on Madison Ave. in Murrieta, CA.


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