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Google on Wednesday plans to offer free, high-speed Internet access to everyone in its Silicon Valley home town — a hospitable gesture that the online search leader hopes to see spread to other parts of the country.
The new wireless, or "Wi-Fi," network, is believed to establish Mountain View, Calif., as the largest U.S. city with totally free Internet access available throughout the entire community, according to both Google and city officials.
St. Cloud, Fla., a suburb of Orlando with a population of about 28,000, had claimed that mantle earlier this year after it launched a free Wi-Fi network.
But what the heck, I went for it. Once I connected, it asked me to answer a few questions, but the connection dropped to 1 out of 5 bars. Not very impressive. And I'm sitting dead center in the middle of mountain view, just 5 blocks from Castro & Villa.
Perhaps this GoolgeWiFi is still in Beta!
Note: At least the connection was reliable enough to make this post
Even as it rolls out a local wireless Internet service in the city where it is based, Google says it has no plans to position itself as a national provider of such services.
The free service in Mountain View, the company’s base in the heart of Silicon Valley, will become generally available on Wednesday after nine months of testing. Google has been selected by the city of San Francisco to install and operate a similar service there in partnership with Earthlink; the two companies are negotiating with the city over the terms.
Google Says It Has No Plans for National Wi-Fi Service [nytimes.com]
anyway, most ISPs are going through tough time, as cable companies start to bundle 3 or 4 services in one. The industry is consolidating with or without google. at least this might drive the prices down and allow poor people to get online. it may even force companies in areas where prices have been very high, to drop prices down.
Speaking of which, Comcast provides cable service for most of Mountain View. So far, I haven't heard anything suggesting they are concerned about a possible loss of business due to Google WiFi, but I imagine they are aware of it.
The possibilities for remote working in Londan are appalling, with the onus being on a few cafe and bar owners, who get tired of having diners compete with laptop users.
The positives on a community would be huge if people started realising their offices could be anywhere. You only have to get the monkeys to realise the cage doors are open...
And lets not cry about lost ISP revenue, when we are charged £5.00 to use a WiFi point in an airport I lose my empathy for them