Google Offer Free WIFI in San Francisco

Story Text:

Call me paranoid, but the thought of a data mining company being my ISP would give me the screaming heebie geebies... Reuters report that GOOG have offered the city of San Francisco free WIFI.

The Web search company said it has responded to a request for information by the City of San Francisco to test local Internet services via Wi-Fi, the short-range wireless technology built into most new laptop computers.

"Google has submitted a proposal to offer free, wireless Internet access (Wi-Fi) to the entire city of San Francisco," Google said in a statement.

The Wi-Fi access could be funded through online advertising, a Google spokesman said.


I would not be so nervous.

I would not be so nervous. In fact, if it's an open free WiFi how will they ever know who is doing what on that connection? It actually sounds like the perfect ISP to run bots from - do you think they'll ever blok the IPs? :)

Nice idea Mikkel :) I wonder

Nice idea Mikkel :)

I wonder how long it will be before the spam police are equipped wireless tracking devices to determine your exact location.

They are welcome to locate

They are welcome to locate me but what can they do? Block the IP? LOL

It would be funny though, Google blocking their own network hehe

Bubble, bubble, toil and er, trouble...

I can't see how this would be sustainable as a free advertising supported service. I'm getting that old bubble feeling. Didn't we do this with the first internet bubble with NetZero, Bluelight and a couple of other free ISP's? It is all built upon the gamble that ad revenues will remain high and even rise and it seems like a house of cards to me. I'll be the first to applaud if they can pull it off.

Dana has some interesting

Dana has some interesting predictions on this:

ยป Has Google launched the age of open source communication? | Open Source |

San Francisco could giggle and give in, letting Google set up a citywide hotspot, giving everyone with an 802.11 client instant broadband. Rose petals could fall from the sky, SBC could go bankrupt, and Osama Bin Laden could walk up to Abu Ghraib prison of his own free will, hands in the air.

Ain't gonna happen.

What is going to happen is this thing is going to be picked apart. Privacy advocates are going to bring all their Google-angst to the table, and demand answers. SBC is going to say that city approval is tantamount to sponsorship, and sue. The state legislature is going to get involved. And on and on and on.

>>Dana has some interesting

>>Dana has some interesting predictions on this:

Dana may be right. Detroit would welcome it with open arms, so would New Orleans. But Google might be cherry picking only the rich/techy cities first, like most corporations in America would.

Welcome to locate you and...

Charge you with a breach of contract.

IMHO, it'd be pretty simple, or at least straightforward. Google should very clearly (non-legalese'ish) specify what behaviors are permitted and prohibited on its wireless network... e.g., no bots, no sending of unsolicited commercial e-mail OR more than 50 e-mails total per hour or spamming of blogs, etc... and include a clause for payment of damages for any infractions. Like MS, Google has some pretty deep pockets and resourceful sleuths. I'd love to see 'em make an example of someone abusing their wireless network :)

P.S. -- Just thought of something; what if Google required you to sign on with your Google account ID? Not sure if that'd substantively increase accountability or tracking, but... it would at least garner Google some more account signups :D

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.