Feeds

Google's Wi-Fi not good enough for its home town

Mountain View fed up with poor connectivity, installs hotspots

The essential guide to IT transformation

Google's offer of free Wi-Fi to its home city of Mountain View isn't good enough for residents who have been struggling to make use of the overloaded service – but now they're finally getting an alternative.

Google got permission to strap access points to lampposts around Mountain View in 2005, launching the free network a year later, but since then demand has ballooned and the world's largest advertising agency has struggled to keep up.

Now IT World tells us that the city has decided to deploy its own wireless network in City Hall and the local library.

Some parts of Mountain View are still getting decent coverage, but the infrastructure put in by Google clearly can't cope with the proliferation of Wi-Fi-capable devices and the quantity of data they consume.

Google built the network as an experiment, to gain knowledge of the practical limitations of metropolitan Wi-Fi and how to make money out of it, and we'd venture to guess that the latter problem is the bigger challenge.

The original agreement was for five years, but in February 2011 the city granted an additional five years while agreeing to let Google back out with 180 days' notice if conditions changed, on condition that the Chocolate Factory handed the infrastructure over to the city.

But there's been no significant improvement in the capacity, as numerous forum postings testify, which has prompted Mountain View (the city, rather than Google) to take action.

Google will continue to provide most of the coverage, with the city's Wi-Fi adding capacity in busy locations. At least, until Google decides to throw some more money into what, for all its faults, is one of the first metro-wireless networks in America – and one of the very few originals still in operation. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial
Umina trial also delivers 30 mbps uploads, but exact rig used not revealed
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?