February 17, 2018

Google to Offer Free Wi-Fi to Home City

By LJ Staff

Well, Google may still be under consideration for San Francisco’s free Wi-Fi plan, but the company has already been chosen by its home city, Mountain View, CA, to provide free Wi-Fi there. According to a post on the Google blog by product manager Minnie Ingersoll, "[W]ireless broadband has huge potential to provide inexpensive access to the Internet. Instead of trenching fiber, wireless broadband requires a bucket truck, a lamppost, and 5 minutes of installation." The project is expected to be live throughout the city by June 2006 – users outdoors and in parks would get free access, while indoor access would require additional hardware costing $50-$100. Google also will establish an enhanced Internet access zone in the Mountain View Library and equip the library’s bookmobile with wireless service.

The city could earn $12,600 a year initially for the placement of Google equipment on city-owned light poles, and Google will pay for installation, upkeep, and utilities. "Essentially there’s very little downside for us," Mountain View City Councilman Tom Means told IDG News Service. "It’s an experiment. Google wants to do a test market here to see if they can do it, and they’re going to pay us [for it]." The city has a population of about 72,000. According to the agreement, Google can charge a fee in the future for enhanced services. Also, Google said in a letter, "Google is in a unique position to offer free access to the Internet, since we have the ability to subsidize and earn revenue indirectly when these Wi-Fi users get on the Internet and access our and our partner sites."