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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Free Wi-Fi from Google

CNET News.com:

"Google does not plan to use ads to pay for the free wireless Internet service it's offering in its hometown of Mountain View, Calif., and there's no secret plan to monetize the service, a Google Wi-Fi product manager said Wednesday.

"The reason it is free is because...we want to get a lot of people on it," Larry Alder of Google said during a panel discussion"

"The service is limited to transmission speeds of 1 megabit per second, and the contract is not exclusive to Google, meaning other companies can make deals with the city to offer their own service, Alder said.

Google has hung about 350 nodes on city light poles, and they'll serve about 70,000 people in 12 square miles, he said. The data packets travel from node to node until they hit a gateway, which has a bidirectional antenna and sends the data on to one of three building tops at the Google campus. There, the data is aggregated and then sent onto the Internet.

The wireless signal will not necessarily go further than the front window of buildings, and users will have to spend about $100 to buy a Wi-Fi modem to extend the signal into the interior of buildings, Alder said."

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