Google’s business model is totally dependent on widely available interweb access; therefore, it’s not surprising that the search giant would undertake efforts to create free municipal Wi-Fi networks.
USA Today has more:
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.
About 72,000 people reside in Mountain View, an 11.5-square-mile city located about 35 miles south of San Francisco. As the home to major companies like Google and VeriSign, Mountain View’s daytime population can swell above 100,000.
Google’s community-wide network has had Mountain View buzzing in anticipation, said City Manager Kevin Duggan.
“There’s a lot of excitement,” he said. “It’s something we could have never anticipated a few years ago when we were just excited to be able to pay for dial-up access to the Internet. Now our entire town is a hot spot.”
Google invested about $1 million to build the Mountain View Network and expects to have to spend far less than that each year to keep it running. The financial commitment represents a pittance for Google, which has nearly $10 billion in cash.
While Google may hope to ignite a movement with this act, I see this as corporate philanthropy at its best. What the community needs, Google provides.