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Networking Google Wireless Networking

Google Mulling Wi-Fi For Cities With Google Fiber 39

Posted by timothy
from the what-can-we-do-to-make-this-sale-happen? dept.
alphadogg (971356) writes "Google is considering deploying Wi-Fi networks in towns and cities covered by its Google Fiber high-speed Internet service. The disclosure is made in a document Google is circulating to 34 cities that are the next candidates to receive Google Fiber in 2015. Specific details of the Wi-Fi plan are not included in the document, which was seen by IDG News Service, but Google says it will be 'discussing our Wi-Fi plans and related requirements with your city as we move forward with your city during this planning process.'" And while Google's had some experience running large-scale WiFi, and adding WiFi seems a much lower burden than providing fiber to the home, floating an idea (as AT&T did, to accusations of "smokescreen") is not the same as turning the switch to "On."
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Google Mulling Wi-Fi For Cities With Google Fiber

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  • Since the Android devices (at least my Nexus 5 did) back up the Wifi passwords to Google by default, the Google could be giving away wifi access all over the world. :)

  • by MrDoh! (71235) on Friday April 25, 2014 @09:47AM (#46840389) Homepage Journal
    So all those 'free' connections (well, 300 bucks for life wasn't it?) with their wireless routers provided. They flip that 'on' switch, bathe the entire area with open wifi signals, let Google Voice be used as VOIP, and tell the telcos/wireless carriers to do rude things to themselves in the dirt.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      And the telcos deserve everything they lose. Monopolistic practices only ensure a greater crash, eventually. I mean, who seriously would ever sign up for AT&T anything? They are the Sony of wireless companies. Comcast still have their hooks into us, but will suffer the same fate.
    • by jddeluxe (965655)
      I can guarantee you that the Google Fiber Network Box provided to Google Fiber subscribers doesn't have anywhere near the range to be able to do that. Mine's installed against the rear wall of my house, and signal stops being useful past about 30-35 meters (100-115 ft.) away...
    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      So all those 'free' connections (well, 300 bucks for life wasn't it?) with their wireless routers provided. They flip that 'on' switch, bathe the entire area with open wifi signals, let Google Voice be used as VOIP, and tell the telcos/wireless carriers to do rude things to themselves in the dirt.

      You left out the part where once they have eliminated the competition, they jack up the price on everything. Sure, they have the 300 bucks for life, but they only provide new services on their premium connection. Basically, this is the Walmart model combined with the cable model - first enter a market and flood it with cheap product until the competition is forced out, then raise prices (Walmart). Then only provide new services with new plans like the cable company. Basically, you have basic coverage and

      • by MrLeap (1014911)

        Switch to a different provider? Not where I live.

        Also, the established players have been colluding in the environment you're describing for over a decade now. If comcast can't survive "the onslaught that is high speed internet at affordable prices" then they're terrible at business.

        • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

          Switch to a different provider? Not where I live.

          Also, the established players have been colluding in the environment you're describing for over a decade now. If comcast can't survive "the onslaught that is high speed internet at affordable prices" then they're terrible at business.

          For TV, you always can go satellite or an attenna. For internet, there is always DSL, tethering, your own t3, or even satellite. For phones, you, likewise, have multiple options. Providers just want you to think you have no other option than the crap they give you. In reality, there are numerous options.

          • by mattack2 (1165421)

            Not all people can go antenna, even out in the boonies.

            DSL is even more limited, since you have to be so close to the local phone box... and of course DSL is slower.

            (I don't know if I personally am within DSL range, but know that even in cities, people sometimes can't get it. I would switch for cost reasons, as I don't need the speed... At some point.. Currently I'm on a relatively cheap cable bundle.)

      • by Xicor (2738029)
        google doesnt profit off hardware, or the things they sell... they profit off information. they will likely just make their money by selling your secrets which you intrust to your isp
      • It isn't always about money. As rich as the Google CEOs are, it's probably more about power and control. So they'll only jack up their prices if it somehow makes them more powerful.

    • by Megane (129182)

      I think that's explicitly for seven years. Google is at least not stupid enough to go "for life" with that. After that point my hunch is they will probably keep it going anyhow, but they're not going to paint themselves into a corner.

      (300 bucks = Google Fiber install price, if you pay that they will give you free low-speed for a long time, which is clearly to encourage economy of scale so they can get more plant built at the same time)

  • Dark fiber (Score:2, Informative)

    by elrous0 (869638)

    Google doesn't build infrastructure. They take advantage of existing municipal fiber.

  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Friday April 25, 2014 @10:09AM (#46840537)
    Why not have the government administer a program to provide wifi in all urban areas? Yes, it will suck, but I'm convinced it would suck less than what we have now. From what I can tell, we have zero advantages that private entities are supposed to be bringing. There's no competition going on to offer us better services. Choice in services is a joke. The service we are offered sucks. There's no free market efficiency aside from how they bill you. With subsidies, we're already paying through taxes to support it, and we don't get what we are promised in return for those subsidies. Aside from google, it doesn't seem like anyone is actually putting any effort into improving existing services. We don't enjoy protection from government censorship or even privacy, telecoms gleefully comply with any government whim as long as they get paid to do it.

    We get all the downsides of private enterprise too: we pay directly, our information is sold on the free market, we indirectly fund lobbyists who change laws against us, and internet access is not recognized as a right or a necessity (which in my opinion, it is both).

    It seems to me that there are two things preventing the government from offering us something better: 1. The telecoms are too powerful for it to be nationalized and 2. We have a bunch of people who think anything the government does is communism and evil.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Morpf (2683099)

      That is what happens if one privatizes critical infrastructure. Because it is critical, the enterprises can screw you over big times and milk you like a cow–and probably will do so.

      • by mattack2 (1165421)

        WiFi is "critical infrastructure"!??! ...and a for profit is giving it away FOR FREE?
        (yes, obviously they get ad dollars and information in exchange)

        • by Morpf (2683099)

          Not Wifi in it's tightest meaning, but internet may be called critical infrastructure nowadays.

    • Given how large the US government already is, and how it is abusing this power to take over ever-larger parts of society, yes it is quite rational to be highly skeptical when someone suggests that giving this government even more control would be a good thing.
      • As I said, we already have that: the corporations comply gleefully with every government whim because the government pays them for it, and if they don't, the government slaps them down. With such an effective carrot and stick scheme going, ISPs offer no benefit over straight government. They're just middlemen.
    • Not so fast my friend. Corporate interests will squash anything including the government that tries to provide anything different.
    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      It would be better if the government put its energy into getting decent internet (wifi or otherwise) in non-urban areas. There are enough subscribers in urban areas to make it worthwhile for somebody to do this, but not so in much of the country. This is basically how electricity and power was rolled out to the entire country. If it is deemed that being connected is as important in the 21st century as these were in the 20th century, then it should be handled similarly.

    • by alen (225700)

      so you think local governments will provide a free wifi service so everyone will be able to stream netflix in super hd all the time?

      • No, I said there were two reasons why they won't, with the implication that they are stupid reasons. And I know that I'm not being offered that by private ISPs.
    • by Tontoman (737489) *
      Government services are not necessarily more benevolent than private industry. For examples, search for "Detroit government corruption." In fact, TFA tells about the competitive ramifications (e.g. More choices for the consumer) of this Google proposal.
    • There is certainly precedent; for example the TVA [tva.com]. As a resident of Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY, I am still waiting for Verizon FIOS to be offered. The monopolist Time Warner Cable is colluding with them to keep us from having decent broad-band. I had a really poor ADSL for years, and canceled it in favor of CLEAR wireless. But neither of those is high speed, at least not enough to download anything substantial. I would not go with TWC for either phone or internet service as it takes forever to get anyone to
    • by mattack2 (1165421)

      Why isn't having a company doing it for profit motive a better reason than charging _all_ citizens for it?

      It's apparently worth it for Google, why not let them do it?

  • by Tokolosh (1256448) on Friday April 25, 2014 @12:45PM (#46842077)

    Remember that wifi/wireless is explicitly except from the proposed network neutrality regulations.

  • Deploying WiFi there, but shutting down their free public WiFi in Mountain View.. Bizarre...

I cannot conceive that anybody will require multiplications at the rate of 40,000 or even 4,000 per hour ... -- F. H. Wales (1936)

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