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Free Wi-Fi for All - from Google?

9:01 pm on Aug 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Interesting conjecture piece from business 2.0 about Google's recent interest in buying dark fiber - a project that Business 2.0 has hypothetically named "GoogleNet".

So once the GoogleNet is built, how would consumers connect for free access? One of the cheapest ways would be for Google to blanket major cities with Wi-Fi, and evidence gathered by Business 2.0 suggests that the company may be trying to do just that.

In April it launched a Google-sponsored Wi-Fi hotspot in San Francisco’s Union Square shopping district, built by a local startup called Feeva. Feeva is reportedly readying more free hotspots in California, Florida, New York, and Washington, and it's possible that Google may be involved. Feeva CEO Nitin Shah confirms that the company is working with Google but won't discuss details.


9:01 pm on Aug 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It isn't cheap, but Google could do it if they wanted to. In the long run - I think it would pay off for them.
10:04 pm on Aug 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google has to go horizontal with it's reach ... and localization is the answer...brilliant strategy..if they pull it off...then they will be the dominant online model for sometime...

Wimax ...yes! (mobile/IPv6)

4:32 am on Aug 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I doubt that google would make it a free service. Even with banner ads it has never worked. Remember netzero and the myriad of others that tried that. But they might get area wide wi fi service available as in the cell phone structure. Anywhere you go in the area you can be logged on. 20-30 bucks a month.
I see big changes coming next 5-7 years. High speed available over the electric lines. Possibly free in cities that own their utilities company such as Austin. Or possibly just a nominal fee. Get your water, electric, garbage and internet bill all in one.
4:54 am on Aug 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Fact is G has nothing to loose here. It's all play money. MSFT has burned billions on X box for no reason. They invest in stupid #*$! they do not innovate. Google is Like
Apple they #*$! with ideas, some work some don't. Steve Jobs has has a few hits swinging for the fences, having fun with technology, that's all it takes. I think these guys are much smarter than YHOO or MSFT or Comcast and certainly a notch above VZ SBC and AOL. I don't know what they have up thier sleeve but I will certainly allow these guys a false start or two before they hit thier next home run. The question I have to ask as an investor. Would I use the technology. Would I use free Wifi from Google? Absolutely. Would Google make money from it? I don't know but it fits a hell of alot better with thier strategy than X box fits with MSFT or Disney fit with Comcast. Does Google offer content, no they do not, they only orgnize, catalogue i it and deliver it. Free wifi would make information more accessible from any location, would make any business more prone to advertise to targeted locations. Would a resteraunt want to buy adwords on a wifi hub that serves the 10 block radius around it? Would a car dealship, a hair salon, a Starbucks. I use adwords to drive sales volumes at local business up by 100% and drive down lead costs. It's targeted advertising. to the extent that I can target more accurately I will do it. I will run ads for Philadelphia Lawyers in Philadlephia. I don't want to show those ads to Washington D.C. or San Francisco. If google gives me more control to geo target I will not only do it I will bid higher for the keywords. If I know my ads are reaching low income people who use to be on dial up and used to use a phone book but now use a google wifi appliance (phone) I will bid even higher. As and advertiser I want to segment my market, target my customer and deliver the exact ad that they want to see. If google gives me that tool I will use it and pay more for it than a scatter shot approach. Even if Google only captures low income people who cannot afford ad free broad band this is a segment that I want to target. Not everyone on the planet can part with 40 bucks a month to search for consumer goods and services. Yellow pages are Free aren't they? I don't hear anyone wonder why Verizon spends so much time and money delivering free Yellow Pages. Why not charge for Yellow pages? Because that would be retarded. The more yellow pages in home the higher your ads sell for. 18 million to set up wifi for 2 million people thats 9 bucks a person. If it costs 2 million a year to maintain that's a buck a person. Each person spends at least 10K a year on local consumer goods and services.

[edited by: tedster at 4:27 am (utc) on Feb. 18, 2009]

8:53 pm on Aug 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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And there will be an Adsense / Adwords ad on every page. That's what will make Free Internet work, the advertiser base.

Won't need the publishers any more either! The whole world will be in a Google frame, it will be free though, just like TV!

Shades of things to come.

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