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Google Plans To Connect Its Entire Home Town To Free Internet Access

     
1:11 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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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.

Google Plans To Connect Its Entire Home Town To Free Internet Access [usatoday.com]

2:57 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Never happen in my town. The cable and telephone company would go apopletic. The city council would gripe about the lost tax revenue.
4:26 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Google has been offering free wifi (although limited coverage) in their hometown for some time now. I can't wait until they start covering San Francisco. It will be quite a challenge with all the hills here.
6:41 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This free WiFi nonsense is a very dangerous precedent IMO as taking revenue away from ISPs will result in the end of 'net neutrality as the service providers seek ways to replace all the lost income.
6:54 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm sitting here in the middle of Mtn View, looking at my wireless network options. GoogleWiFi is one of them, but it shows only 2 out of 5 bars.

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

10:49 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm sitting here in the middle of Mtn View, looking at my wireless network options. GoogleWiFi is one of them, but it shows only 2 out of 5 bars.

Are you outside? If not, you probably have to buy a WiFi modem.

3:58 am on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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They state quite clearly the intended goal is to make the signal just strong enough so that it goes to the walls of a home. From there, you'd be responsible for gettinga wireless router to bring it throughout your house, your walls, basements or whatever. it'd be very tough for them to put a signal strong enough to go through thick walls etc. 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.
1:20 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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While on vacation in the CDN maritime provinces, I did a search to check for wifi hotspots. Imagine my suprise to find the city of Frederiction, NB is entirely hot. Free wifi high speed service throughout the city with no banner ads of any kind! Just check your emails while eating clams at any Deluxe Fish & Chips :-) I'm thinking of retiring there.
4:52 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It seems Google has no plans to roll out the program nationwide.

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]

9:22 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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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.

9:47 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Good contribution to society
4:15 pm on Aug 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hey, I want that in LONDON

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

1:11 am on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Why, when this is such a crap forum, do people pay to post here?
1:13 am on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am honestly confused. I post on some other forums that are well populated, but offer good services. This seems to be awful.
10:21 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Tried using it from inside an apartment, but near a window with southern exposure. The best I could do was 26% signal strength, which was enough to affiliate with the base site but not enough to establish Internet connectivity.
6:55 am on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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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.
7:06 am on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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What a nice gesture. It would be great to see other companies covering the towns and cities where they are located.

And what a good way to keep your local population on your side!