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Google Offers Free WiFi for Mountain View, CA 137

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the right-price dept.
Patik writes "AFP reports that Google is offering free wifi internet access to all 70,000 residents of its headquarter's hometown, Mountain View, CA. Google expects the entire city to be covered by next June. Basic access will be free while Google retains the right to charge for premium services. This comes after Google made a bid to provide free access for all of San Francisco (pop. 744,000) two months ago, although that city is still considering the bid."
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Google Offers Free WiFi for Mountain View, CA

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  • Microsoft Offers Free Wi-FI to Redmond, Wa

    In light of a recent story about Google offering free Wi-Fi internet access to Mountain View, Ca, Microsoft has stated that it will start offering free Wi-Fi to its hometown of Redmond, Washington. This recent development....

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I thought you guys were the champion of the mom & pop ISP...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      rabble rabble rabble!
      dem Google took r isp!

      funny how it is ok for the music industry to die because it has an antiquated model but on /. it isn't for ISPs, coders outsourced, etc...
      • funny how it is ok for the music industry to die because it has an antiquated model but on /. it isn't for ISPs, coders outsourced, etc...

        Insightful? And the parent as troll? That hardly seems fair. The parent wasn't trolling. The parent was pointing out a very ligitimate fact -- it sucks to be an ISP in that town. How the hell is that trolling? Would it be trolling if some company started handing out all the free food you could eat and I said "sucks to be Wegman's in that town"?

        In any case I woul

        • I've heard some verizon horror stories.

          There aren't many mom & pop providers left anymore. I'll take free wireless for general surfing.
          • I've heard some verizon horror stories.

            In my experience from using them for business, home and a shitload of friends who always call me (the computer "guy") when they have problems, the only issue I'd say Verizon has is the usual phone company bullshit of the left hand (repair/install/provisioning) not knowing the right hand (tech/customer support) is doing. The actual service is nearly bulletproof in my experience. A far cry from the only other option around here (Roadrunner) that seems to die if you

    • No, if it's google then slashdot loves them, this trumps all other considerations. (Except possibly apple. I wonder what slashdot would do if google and apple went against each other)
  • by Chocolate Teapot (639869) * on Saturday November 12, 2005 @12:57PM (#14015700) Journal
    I was wondering why this poll [slashdot.org] has not been replaced in nearly two weeks. The /. editors are waiting till the Google Wifi comes online so that they can add another option ...

    [*] I live in Mountain View, you insensitive clod!

    Just wait till the Bay Area wireless comes online and that poll choice will make the others pale into insignificance.


    • I was wondering why this poll has not been replaced in nearly two weeks.

      Serenity NOW!!! :)

      Just wait till the Bay Area wireless comes online

      How long will it be until Google blankets the entire nation? I sure hope they get over here to the east coast pretty soon, cause I'm paying through the nose for Adelphia.

      (And on top of that, someone's been making a habit of posting bad comments from my subnet lately. I need a new IP.)
      • How long will it be until Google blankets the entire nation? I sure hope they get over here to the east coast pretty soon, cause I'm paying through the nose for Adelphia.

        Tell me about it. Perhaps its wishful thinking on my part, but what are the odds that Boston is next on the list after Silicon Valley? High population density & tons of tech buisnesses and universities, and small enough that its feisable....
  • Why? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jshaped (899227)
    yeah, i'll probably be mod'd troll or whatever,
    but why is google doing this?
    (what are their secret motives?)

    i rtfa, and all i found was: "Under the terms of the deal, the basic wireless internet access would be free, but Google could charge users fees for premium services."

    so why would google spend so much money to provide this with possibly/probably little return?
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by evil agent (918566) on Saturday November 12, 2005 @01:03PM (#14015731)
      If you connect to Google's WiFi, then they know where you are. Then they can target you with location-specific advertising.
      • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ozydingo (922211)
        Probbaly more than that, too; they'll most likely keep a database of what ip addresses visit which sites how often, thus further boosting their ability to taget people with specific ads.
      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TheCreeep (794716) on Saturday November 12, 2005 @01:21PM (#14015820)
        Now this could be the mother of all targeted advertisments. Immagine yourself in a park in Mountain View surfing the web with on your laptop when you see a google add like "Fancy a hot, seamy, cup of coffe? Try Peggie's place around the corner."
        Or looking at some AMD benchmarks with an add telling you the nearest hardware shop.
        That would rock!
        • Fancy a hot, seamy, cup of coffe?

          Uh...

          Mountain View isn't in England. It's in California, dude. They don't say "fancy" there. Unless, of course, they're after the British tourists.

          • You've got a good point. People may not care about words like "fancy", but *turns to Google* if you're gonna make local ads, know the local culture, and don't rely on it to sell your ads, because any part of our culture you get wrong will be swiftly noticed (see parent post).

      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Decameron81 (628548) on Saturday November 12, 2005 @01:43PM (#14015905)
        "If you connect to Google's WiFi, then they know where you are. Then they can target you with location-specific advertising."


        They get more benefits than just that though. By offering their WiFi service for free they are investing on their image. They are telling people that Google cares about them. Many people think that it all comes down to making money today whatever it takes, but Google's stance goes more along the lines of maintaining their reputation and gaining people's trust. Sometimes at the expense of short term advantages.

        And not only this is good for us, it's even better for Google to be perceived as a friendly company in a pool of sharks. No wonder they are what they are today.
      • Ooooor they can advertise you for location-specific targeting.
      • Re:Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday November 12, 2005 @02:27PM (#14016096) Journal
        They grab location info from wherever they can as it is. You may have noticed if you've connected from a university IP block that you get adverts specific to that university's home town. Simiarly, if you use Google Maps, then the places you look at are used as source data for a short while - I used the maps place to find the way from my girlfriend's house to the nearest Apple Store, and the next time I searched for restaurants it prioritized ones close to where I was. Quite neat really.
      • by psavo (162634)

        If you connect to Google's WiFi, then they know where you are. Then they can target you with location-specific advertising.

        That's a bit funny way to say it, but yeah, they're probably going to make whatever ads they serve more relevant

      • There's more to it than that really. By being your ISP they would have access to every site or connection you make on the internet, and therefore would have a more effective data mining solution than doubleclick.net or the like, with out being nearly as intrusive on the user's computer (or be blockable via plugins like ad-block, or denying cookies).

        I'm not sure what the privacy policy of this service would be, but I see this as being about the same level of intrusiveness as adds targeted to you based on t

    • > but why is google doing this? (what are their secret motives?)

      So, Google is going to blanket every square inch of their home city with "Wi-Fi antennas" eh?
      Turn their home town into an Internet "hot-spot" eh?
      All at "no charge" eh?
      Pass the tinfoil.

    • Simple: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by 16K Ram Pack (690082)
      PR and "community relations".

      This will be a good thing for community relations. Some companies sponsor the local sports clubs or arts groups. This is another way.

      It's also on slashdot, NBC, Yahoo and all sorts, giving lots of PR.

      It might also yield some results as a social experiment.

      All this for what cost? Bandwidth for 70,000 people and setting up a few hundred hotspots. Maybe a million bucks a year? Sounds like a good deal to me.

    • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by NCraig (773500)

      yeah, i'll probably be mod'd troll or whatever, but why is google doing this? (what are their secret motives?)

      I doubt they have any "sinister" intentions. Giving free WiFi to an entire city is good marketing. Hell, it's amazing marketing. Google is continuing to position itself as the knight in shining armor in anticipation of competition with Microsoft.

      Who would you rather do business with? On one hand, you have the company that brought free internet to the huddled masses. On the other, the big evi

    • "Hi John Anderson, it looks like you could do with a Guinness!"
    • but why is google doing this?

      Well, people who aren't connected to the internet can't make them money.

    • Re:Why? (Score:2, Funny)

      by edbarrett (150317)
      yeah, i'll probably be mod'd troll or whatever,
      but why is google doing this?
      (what are their secret motives?)

      Worst. Haiku. Ever.
  • by scsa (929805) on Saturday November 12, 2005 @01:00PM (#14015717)
    Don't forget, your European HQ is in Dublin, Ireland. Can we have free Wifi too please?
    • Yeah right.

      Ireland only just got carrier pigeons, as if you have any use for WiFi.
      • Search results are carried on a string, held by two pidgeons flying together.
        • I'm foreseeing some latency problems, and the bandwidth can't be too good, but at least you never drop a connection until your neighbor decides to go hunting.
          • I'm foreseeing some latency problems, and the bandwidth can't be too good, but at least you never drop a connection until your neighbor decides to go hunting.

            No, no. The pigeons are the Data-link/physical layers used for carrying the IP packets. If one packet goes missing, the TCP layer simply resends it, and you won't notice any problem. Except for an additional 12 hour delay, obviously.
      • A lot of multinational companies have headquarters in Dublin, because the corporate taxes are much much lower than if they were legally based in other places in the EU where they're actually doing most of their business, rather like US corporations being based in Delaware or Nevada. So we get to sell them data center space and Internet or MPLS connections for their offices, even if the office itself is just a couple of rooms with a secretary and a couple of bureaucrats and solicitors.

        So far none of my cu

    • Dublin (115 sq km) is a little bigger than Mountain View (31 sq km).
  • I think I get why (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dark Paladin (116525) * <jhummel@@@johnhummel...net> on Saturday November 12, 2005 @01:00PM (#14015720) Homepage
    You could say it's about advertisements. After all, the more people on the Internet, the more people searching Google, so the more money they make, right?

    But there's another side, and depending on how they do it, it could either be interesting or scary. I'm betting on the Interesting, but -

    With this service, Google will be able to track where everyone in this service goes, and then sell that data to others. Odds are, this would be like Tivo does it: track trends and report anonymous information. So if someone wants to figure out that people who watch "Monster Garage" also watch a lot of "Veronica Mars", they can throw up some he-man car adds on the later show to try and capture those eyeballs.

    In the same way, Google could sell anonymous research data to other firms. Something like "people who tend to visit Slashdot also tend to visit digg.com, news.google.com, etc". They don't have to give out individual "this person searched for this", but just trends - even searchable trends, like saying "these web sites reported on this item, and here's what the breakdown of those people who went to that site or searched for that item visited".

    Far more effective than the questionaires of "what computer gaming sites do you visit?". With Google providing the access, they can just tell the marketers directly.

    Anyway, this is just my opinion. I could be wrong.

    • With this service, Google will be able to track where everyone in this service goes, and then sell that data to others... Far more effective than the questionaires of "what computer gaming sites do you visit?". With Google providing the access, they can just tell the marketers directly.

      Cmdr Taco needs a new category of karma nirvana; something along the lines of "+6 BINGO! YOU WIN!"

    • by MrNonchalant (767683) on Saturday November 12, 2005 @01:40PM (#14015897)
      True, they could sell it. But they could also data mine it for their own purposes. Right now they have a limited portion of any user's activity, after they disappear off of Google.com it's anyone's guess what they do. Imagine just how much the Google engineers would love to have access to entire browsing histories for thousands of users that is months long. All uniquely identified by their MAC address and/or login credentials and location tracked to within a few hundred feet based on which AP they're accessing. Any data miner worth their salts would love to get their hands on that. Like a giant maze with several thousand live rats. And who better to use that data.

      Google could:
      1. Identify emerging trends and buy into them.
      2. Serve more targeted ads (AdSense).
      3. Offer location based services (Dodgeball).
      4. Improve search results.
      5. Sell the data.
      • Right now they have a limited portion of any user's activity, after they disappear off of Google.com it's anyone's guess what they do.

        Well, not completely. If the pages that the user goes to have adsense on them, google can very well see that.

    • Yup, same model I am sure they are using with the GoogleCache proxy and WiFi secure tunneling software.

    • I've theorised my belief on where Google will take this some time ago when there was talk of them becoming an ISP.

      Just think of hundreds if not thousands of "Google Accelerators" all around the place acting as transparent proxies for an untold number of internet connections. Not only can they now tell what sites are popular based on search results (which may not be the same, that's more a mark of what people are looking for), but they can tell what areas/locations look at what content, how many people at si
  • by dbolger (161340) on Saturday November 12, 2005 @01:02PM (#14015725) Homepage
    When I first saw this, I thought "gee, Google's providing free net access - good for them". If this had been Microsoft, I would have been more likely to think "damn Microsoft - instant monopoly. Bastards". I actually didn't think about that until an earlier poster mentioned MS above.

    Whatever you feel about MS/Google, its interesting to see how having a "don't be evil" rather than a "make lotsa money quick" mantra from the outset colours people's view of any plans you put forward in later years.

    Or maybe I'm just easily brainwashed, who knows ;)
  • Loss Leader (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Giant Robot (56744) on Saturday November 12, 2005 @01:03PM (#14015730) Homepage
    How can google profit from this venture? The article doesn't say what kind of "premium services" they are going to charge for, but I wouldn't see what services the average google-wifi user will pay for that the non-google wifi user won't.
    • How can google profit from this venture? The article doesn't say what kind of "premium services" they are going to charge for, but I wouldn't see what services the average google-wifi user will pay for that the non-google wifi user won't. You've got to be kidding. Google, first and foremost, is an advertising company. Right now, the only data available to Google is from searches using their service. Just think of the data mining possibilities of a Google ISP. Oh look, 15% of our users visit this site o
    • The local free dead-tree newspaper had an article on Google's proposed free wireless service :-) The free service gets you a certain speed, and if you want to go faster, you can subscribe. The article said the free-service speed was "300 kilobytes/second", but I have low confidence about whether that's really kilobits or kilobytes, given the usual accuracy of newspaper reporters writing about technologies they don't really understand. Getting 300 kBytes/sec reliably over a wide area is pretty tough, and
  • Why a company (google or whomever), doesn't give free wifi to a whole state. Take New Jersey for example, highest population per square mile, 1030 to be exact. Which is 13 times the national average. Instead they're giving free wifi to cotton plant Arkansas (or similar places).

    Let the disagreements begin. 3...2...1... go!

    • cuz new jersey is just new york's trash can, duh. :-p
    • Eh, we've got free Wi-Fi already in New Jersey. Too many stupid rich people with open access points... walk around Fort Lee or Alpine with a PDA and you'll see what I mean. I would love to see free Wi-Fi in Hudson County (the densest county in the country) though. Not only 'cause I'm from there either... a lot of people can't afford monthly cable or DSL. A one-time $30 charge for a USB adapter is easier to stomach for families in HC than $500 a year for wireline broadband.
    • Well, the usual reason is that the same density that makes New Jersey easier to cover also makes it easier to wire. So the problem of getting high-speed net access is pretty much solved there already.

      Cotton Plant Arkansas, however, is just too much in the middle of nowhere to get effective wired data, so wireless really is the only choice.
  • how nice (Score:2, Interesting)

    "but Google could charge users fees for premium services." and what would these consist of ... I mean you either have free web access or not, hard to see what their going to charge for unless they cut off basic services that people need (ie: browsing off google related sites) . their going to have to start finding ways to profit from other things to justify their share price, they cant stay fully reliant on adsense so it should be interesting to see how they profit from this.
    • Speed differential. Free could be one meg speeds whereas premium could be five megs and gps integration.
    • Re:how nice (Score:3, Informative)

      by krray (605395) *
      It all depends on how they deploy this. They may offer with their free service a NAT address (such as 169.254) via DHCP and limit your bandwidth speed. Absolutely great service for the typical user who just wants to browse the web and check their [G]Mail account.

      Premium service could be a static IP address [fed from their fiber network], a 10Mbit uplink (symmetrical), primary and/or secondary DNS services, backup MX'ing, VoIP, etc. I pay $65/mo (wireless) for this exact type of service...And after comparing
  • National Tryouts (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MCSEBear (907831)
    Google has been buying an awful lot of dark fiber. I'm looking forward to them using it to offer free basic internet access across our nation. The large providers still don't offer any broadband connectivity options outside large cities. I'm in a rural area and there is no broadband option for me. Belive it or not the best option here is... AOL

    Other providers in the area don't even have dial up at a flat rate price. It's all dial up you pay for by the hour. Through a combination of Wi-Fi and IP ove

  • by max born (739948) on Saturday November 12, 2005 @01:27PM (#14015849)
    San Francisco has had free Wi-Fi [archive.org] for quite some time. I had the pleasure of meeting Ralf Muehlen, one of the primary contributors, when I donated equipment to the project last year.

    What's interesting is that there's no reason why a lot of Internet access shouldn't be free. We don't pay a service charge for broadcast radio and television. There's an argument that Wi-Fi should be more like HAM radio -- you buy your equipment and your're online. Developments in mesh networking, especially where it's possible to relay through multiple nodes could help make this a reality. Of course we'd still need the wired backbone.

    Of course there are a lot of special interests working against this. Not least, the FCC (backed by the current fee based providers) who are adamant about keeping power limititation extremely low for the ISM unlicensed spectrum. Of course the cell phone compainies have no problem blasting at thousands of times more power than we can. But that's life in politics I guess.

    Be interesting to see how this plays out in the next few years, especially with the advent on 802.16.

    Please get in touch with someone from sflan if you can contribute bandwidth, equipment, or technical expertise. It's a really good cause.
    • by evilviper (135110) on Saturday November 12, 2005 @02:05PM (#14016009) Journal
      We don't pay a service charge for broadcast radio and television.

      You don't because the broadcasting company has paid, instead of making you pay... With something like satellite TV/Radio, you DO pay a service charge.

      There's an argument that Wi-Fi should be more like HAM radio -- you buy your equipment and your're online.

      Ham radio works because the very low-bandwidth signals can be transmitted across the globe without any infrastructure.

      For the internet, someone will have to pay. That mean's everyone's tax dollars. You'll still be paying for the internet, and people who don't use the internet will also be paying for it. Everyone gets the same crappy level of service, and those who max out their connection constantly still only pay as much as those who never use it at all.

      Inexpensive wireless technologies promise to make internet access faster and much, much cheaper... but not free.
      • What if we had a wireless internet infrastructure fee that was charged to businesses operating over the internet and then applied toward building a national wireless network? Maybe that smacks of big government scariness, but it seems like the only way to get widespread internet coverage beyond waiting for every municipality to do it one by one or waiting for the cellular companies to do it. Universal high-speed wireless internet access would do so much in the way of communication and the economy, it would
        • What if we had a wireless internet infrastructure fee that was charged to businesses operating over the internet and then applied toward building a national wireless network?

          An interesting idea, but the devil is in the details.

          Who counts as a business? If you start selling junk on ebay, do you have to pay this internet tax? If not, at what level of sales do you become classified as an internet business?

          What about those companies that aren't as general as amazon.com? How would you even know about some com

          • Ooh- while we're going pie-in-the sky, maybe we could get the UN to implement the tax and have it develop a worldwide internet infrastructure! Then the companies can't escape paying it, and it will bring the internet everywhere! As far as who counts as a business, basically any taxable revenue over the internet could be taxed at a certain percentage. I dunno... that's for the gov't bigwigs to figure out. Imagine how cool it would be to have a VOIP-like phone that worked anywhere in the world for free!
            • Imagine how cool it would be to have a VOIP-like phone that worked anywhere in the world for free!

              Like any government-run services, I think it would be more accurate to say that it would FAIL to work anywhere in the world...
    • There is a good likelihood of finding an open network because of housing density in SF, but the network you linked to pretty clearly does not serve very much of the City. Look at the map: half of the nodes are listed as unreachable, and it looks like 90% of the "system" is a few neighbors in twin peaks and the marina.

      SF needs a comprehensive network you can get most everywhere, run by somebody with accountability. Neighbors move and change their mind.

      Also, there are some legal issues with providing your own
  • Now I'm gonna have to google "world's biggest pringles can".
  • Are people really going to be out in the streets using free wi-fi?

    For a while, I'm sure. Eventually, as blood runs deeper in the streets of San Francisco due to their new city-wide weapons ban, I'd imagine that most of the time they'll be hiding out in their houses next to their wired connections.
    • by ievans (133543) on Saturday November 12, 2005 @03:11PM (#14016311)
      I live in San Francisco, and not a day goes by that I don't see a cackling criminal hellbent on destruction, twirling his mustache, about to cause untold carnage with a firearm, only to be thwarted by a civilian carrying a legal, licensed handgun. It's truly a sight to behold. The only thing keeping San Francisco from turning into Lagos is the vast handgun toting populace, not the police, not the legal system. And now we've gone ahead and ruined it.

      It'll be just like the veritable river of blood that is...London, England.

      Disclaimer: I voted against the handgun ban, but give me a break.
      • It was a joke. Maybe SF needs free sarcasm detectors along with its free wi-fi. :)

        Although...
        a) Most crime deterred by gun ownership involves the knowledge that retailiation is possible, and not actually drawing a gun.
        b) London has its trouble spots and stories.
        c) Counter-example: Austrailia.
  • I wish I had free wifi or a wifi router. I've got to buy one or the Nintendo USB adapter. Although, maybe my neighbors have wifi.
  • The GOOGLEnet is coming! Beware! Soon the whole world will be envelpoed by the evil wifi blanket...doom apporaches!
  • Palo Alto (Score:3, Informative)

    by idlake (850372) on Saturday November 12, 2005 @02:20PM (#14016066)
    Note that in Palo Alto, you can get free wireless access courtesy of a community wireless mesh network, pafree.net (you can guess what their URL is).
  • Permanent Records? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cyphercell (843398) on Saturday November 12, 2005 @03:58PM (#14016520) Homepage Journal

    Hey, I don't know about the rest of you but Google's just about got all my info pegged down. Gmail stores my records, I'm always logged in so my search history is right there. With google home page they have the weather of the town I live in, my favorite news feeds and they know I like the vocabulary word of the day front and center. My bookmarks section is minimalist, but most telling are links to other free email accounts. They know who my contacts are, they know who I invite to gmail.

    Has it ever occured to anyone that gmail is the most comprehensive (I think "pay for" MSN gives you three total addresses) email account that by nature gathers statistical relationship information on the users at SIGNUP. Gmail's signup record is a complete model of that whole six degrees of seperation theory. As it is, when I google Pr0n I Log the f*ck out; I have to; my search history is used for my search results. I use my Google home page at school (college) I do not want to get kicked out of a lab for Googling fsck. Most importantly I do not want pr0n based ads showing up everywhere. I have kids remember.

    With free internet service provided by Google I would be totally on record no ifs, ands, or buts about it; they would be able to say "hey this guy doesn't like Pr0n showing up on his search history, lives in (insert town, state, and address here), must have had a divorce last year, oh there it is his lawyer's email is xxxx@gmail.com, is a student, has kids, frequently uses google for spelling help (determined by a misspelled word searched and no results clicked, common search pattern -posts online a bit maybe), and many other things I can't even fathom,etc...".

    I love google they do a great job but it's a corporation, corporations are notorious for screwing people when they can, a corporation is a business entity that is held accountable for people's actions, that business entity is by nature psychopathic. I find this service wraps up google's statistical sources and Google seems intent on KEEPING their information FOREVER, so long as they can legally get away with it. I know the terms of gmail when I signed up, and I know how to avoid what I don't want. I like it that way.

    • If Bush and cronies can become the leaders of the U.S., then similarly, another band of psychopaths can become the board members of Google Inc.

      Too much power centralized is a disaster waiting to happen.

      I've been worried about Google since the beginning, and this only makes the hairs standing on my current goosembumps quiver in the wind.

      But rah, rah Google, and all that.

      *sigh*

      The Medium is the Message. --A multi-layered cross-linked world of enormous knowledge and opportunity all bottle necked through a sin
    • ...they would be able to say "hey this guy doesn't like Pr0n showing up on his search history, lives in (insert town, state, and address here), must have had a divorce last year, oh there it is his lawyer's email is xxxx@gmail.com, is a student, has kids, frequently uses google for spelling help...

      Dude, you forgot to post anonymously... now you've given your secrets away. Well, now you shouldn't worry about logging out when you search for porn.
  • Naive Question (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Adrian Lopez (2615) on Saturday November 12, 2005 @04:11PM (#14016568) Homepage
    I haven't been keeping up with new technologies, so here are some naive questions:

    1. Is it possible for more than one WiFi router to cover a given hotspot?
    2. If so, how would the client choose which router to use?
    3. How many routers could occupy a hotspot before service is seriously harmed?

    I'm wondering about the implications of Google offering free WiFi service along with a paid premium service. Would a different provider be able to provide competing services for the same area?
    • 1. Is it possible for more than one WiFi router to cover a given hotspot?
      This has nothing to do with routers. Whilst some domestic kit has a nat router in the same box as the access point you won't see this in any serious installation it would be an administrative nightmate. Assuming you meant more than one access poitn in a given area your main limitation is that you only have 3 non-overlapping channels. You can have multiple access points on the same or overlapping channels but that can cause performance
      • Yes, I meant an access point. I called it a router because that's the I've seen people use when referring to the device that provides access to the network.

        Thanks for the info.
      • Three channels doesn't seem like much. It's a bit disturbing to realize that a city-wide WiFi network such as what Google proposes (or like the ones set up and operated by the cities themselves) could become a kind of near-monopoly (unless you're willing to harm network performance), where the first-comer sets the rules of access (pricing, terms of use, etc.).
    • 802.11 has a code called the "SSID" which is used to identify set up and authenticate connections. Most manufacturers have some default value, e.g. "Linksys", but you're supposed to set it yourself.

      I live in a building where I can see about five wireless APs most of the time. Two of them (including mine) are open-access, and the others doing encryption*. My work laptop is an IBM Thinkpad, which has some friendly IBMware for wireless as well as the built-in Windows XP Pro 1.1 software, so it's never cle

      • Thanks for the info.

        PS - It seems that WiFi security hasn't been given as much attention by WiFi vendors as the problem deserves.
        • I'd say it's gotten a lot of attention - it's just that the problems the vendors are trying to solve don't resemble the problems *I* want solved :-)

          Some of that's also an evolutionary problem - the right way to do encryption setup is to use Diffie-Hellman key exchange, but that takes more horsepower than the earlier generations of Wifi cards had, so they just didn't do any encryption except for people who explicitly set up passwords. On the other hand, they did all that lame broken WEP stuff, and it took

    • 1. Yes, 802.11 breaks the frequency into 12 channels, and the router is set to a channel when configured.
      2. Clients are presented a list - in OS X, I get a drop-down from the Airport menu; in Windows XP, you can 'Show available wireless networks' from the taskbar icon.
      3. Theoretically, 12 routers can operate in the same location at the same time, but realistically, you tend to get interference from routers in neighbouring channels. Thus the optimal situation would be 'every odd' or 'every even' (e.g. 1, 3,
  • Having a little bit of Deja Vu here, as I seem to remember hearing about something like this quite some time ago.

    With a little digging, I found this: https://wifi.google.com/download.html [google.com]
  • Bring it on! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tji (74570) on Saturday November 12, 2005 @04:59PM (#14016779)
    I live in Mountain View, so I'm very interested to see what the offering will hold. I'll also be interested to see how wireless network access holds up on a large scale deployment with lots of users. Sharing a wireless network in a household with one to six people is easy. But, when I'm trying to access Google's wireless network along with all of my neighbors, will it withstand the load?

    Google has huge bandwidth to their corporate site.. What kind of bandwidth will the wifi network have on the backend? It could be very interesting if the 802.11G wifi has a big pipe servicing it, then it becomes more attractive than my existing 3+Mbps cable service.
  • ... my pony [slashdot.org]?

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