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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Dvorak: Google's Free Municipal Wi-Fi May Start Revolution

From Foxnews:

Google has been toying with the idea of implementing free municipal Wi-Fi.

I've always believed that it began as a whim, but became a subtle threat aimed at the major carriers who are saber-rattling over tiered service, threatening to charge Google (GOOG) more for its supposed free ride on their networks.

This, of course, is ludicrous, since there is no free ride for anyone.

Anyway, somewhere along the line, the concept of Net neutrality emerged. This new concept got Congressional attention soon after Google suggested that it could use a Wi-Fi mesh to light up the city of Mountain View, Calif., and then San Francisco for free.

Now to prove that it can do this, Google actually has lit up Mountain View. Anyone driving through the town can pull off the road and do e-mail for free.

It cost Google a million dollars to pull this stunt off, but that's chicken feed for Google — a fact we cannot overlook.

But here is the killer. What if suddenly — from this experiment — Google discovers that localized service combined with localized search and local advertising (specific to the target community, aka Mountain View) can not only pay for the system but provide a new profit center? What happens if that turns out to be an unintended consequence?

If the numbers work out, we're talking about a new gold rush. And Google wouldn't be the only player. Microsoft (MSFT) would have to do this, and so would Ask and Yahoo! (YHOO).

After that — and this is very possible with 802.11n — there is no reason Google couldn't offer an IPTV package and cut out the cable companies, too.

You need only 30 Mbps to do it, and that includes HDTV service. 802.11n, when fully finalized, will deliver 300 to 600 Mbps.

This expansion of services is entirely possible and doable. And it all stems from the phone companies and cable companies arrogantly shooting off their collective mouths about tiered services, along with their cavalier failure to give the American public what it needs — universal and cheap high-speed access.

Now they have to contend with being beaten at their own game. Good luck.
I completely agree with Dvorak on this one. What Google needs to do is give everyone free access to their services, then charge for premium content once users are there. Cable and Telcos will be up a creek without a paddle. This quote sums up exactly how and why this will work:

Many may have forgotten that in the late 90's hundreds of miles of fibre was laid only to end up as "dark fibre" (un used fibre due to the lack of finance/backing to connect to the end user).

Google for the last two years has been slowly buying up the rights to allot of this dark fibre leading to allot of speculation as to why.

Then Google starts building super nodes that fit into a large shipping container.

Now we have Google offering free Wifi on a small experimental basis.

Next year Wimax routers and chip sets hit the consumer market offering 75Mb/s both way speeds and up to 8Km of range from the base station.

If you not seeing the game plan now your blind.

Google is going to do the biggest smack-down within the next three years ever seen and the Telco's will be sitting there going "er what just happened".

The free wifi is actually part of the game plan, google is just waiting for a better technology to finalise the game and with the advent of Wimax next year its going to be check mate and game.


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