For those who anguish or worry about whether application providers might become Internet service providers or access providers, we might as well simply agree that this has happened, and probably will happen on a wider scale over the next decade.
The latest data point: Starbucks’ WiFi will be provided by Google. Starbucks previously had used AT&T as the access provider.
Google says it will provide access speeds an order of magnitude faster than before, while lucky residents of Google Fiber cities will see speeds up to two orders of magnitude faster. The transition is scheduled to happen over an 18-month period.
So one other way to look at matters is that although Google Fiber operates in just three metro markets currently, it soon will be an ISP and access provider to 7,000 locations scattered across the United States.
In addition to providing faster Wi-Fi, Starbucks and Google will also work together to co-develop the next-generation Starbucks Digital Network.
You might say the access is powered by Level 3 Communications, which will manage in-store connectivity on behalf of Google.
As always, you never can be completely sure where Google might want to go with this in the future.
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