Subject: AT&T throttling Starbucks Internet access -- does Starbucks management know?
I’m a daily Starbucks customer who has enjoyed your blog for over a year now.
I’m writing because I thought you might like to know that several Starbucks stores where I live in the Los Angeles area seem to have begun “throttling” (i.e., limiting Internet data speeds) sometime in the last one or two weeks.
I don’t have proof from the company that they are doing this, but I strongly believe that they are for several reasons:
1. I’m an IT pro, and I’ve been able to confirm that download speeds are SUBSTANTIALLY lower than they have been at any time in the last 5 or 6 years. As an example, it just took me about 10 minutes to download a 3.5 mb picture that my wife emailed.
2. Other customers are complaining to local management about the situation, not just me. (By the way, local management seems genuinely uninformed of the situation.)
3. I am experiencing the same pattern at 3 local stores, not just one.
4. The problem persists even when a store is nearly empty, not just when every table is filled with someone on a laptop.
5. The problem is consistent, not intermittent, that is, it lasts all day.
6. Starbucks’ Internet service provider is, of course, AT&T, and AT&T has been much in news lately for “throttling” iPhone users.
The problem is so bad that several regular customers and myself have been forced to leave the stores to work elsewhere.
For what it’s worth, I normally spend about $10 per day while I am working at Starbucks (typically for 2 or 3 hours).
I would be very interested in someone like yourself further investigating this issue and helping to bring some clarity to the public about what is anything is going one.
[I have asked Starbucks for comment. I'll post its response when/if it comes in. By the way, I've also noticed how sluggish the Starbucks/ATT service is in recent weeks. I walked out of a store last Wednesday when I simply couldn't get work done because of the ridiculously slow speeds.]