Google wins approval to give home city Wi-Fi
Mountain View first step
By Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service | Published: 12:28, 17 November 2005
Google is set to build a Wi-fi network in its home town of Mountain View. The company won approval from city officials to begin buildingra city-wide Wi-Fi network.
A Google spokeswoman said the company is "excited to begin work on this project" and is looking forward to providing Wi-Fi service to members of the local community.
The decision to approve the plan seemed to be an easy one for the City Council, as the city of Mountain View will incur no expenses for the Wi-Fi network and actually stands to gain financially from the deal, according to a document on the City Council website.
"The City potentially could receive an annual payment of approximately $12,600 [adjusted annually for increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI)] for the placement of Google equipment on City-owned light poles," according to the document. "All installation and maintenance costs will be borne by Google, and utility costs will be paid by the City and fully reimbursed by Google, which is estimated to be $3,000 to $4,000 per year."
Mountain View City Councilman Tom Means said council officials saw no compelling reason to dispute the plan, though they did hear some dissent from residents who were concerned about their privacy and health problems that could occur due to the radiation emitted from Wi-Fi transmissions.
"Essentially there's very little downside for us," he said. "Its an experiment. Google wants to do a test market here to see if they can do it, and they're going to pay us [for it]."
Google hopes to use the Mountain View network as a proving ground to show officials in large metropolitan areas that the search giant can provide city-wide Wi-Fi access.