breaking.... Google is making a bid to build a San Francisco-wide free wifi network, according to company officials. The company today filed documents in response to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's request for information for the city wide network. Google's WiFi plans were first reported by Business 2.0 magazine as part of the GoogleNet article. Google officials say San Francisco residents (and visitors) will enjoy a free 300 kilobits per second, always on connection anywhere in the city.
As part of its proposal, the company says it will be offering wholesale access to other service providers, who will offer higher throughput connections to their customers. The company is going to use San Diego-based WFI, a cellular network builder company to build out the WiFi network. The company proposes to build a network using third party hardware. Google officials say, its free WiFi plans are restricted only to San Francisco. The company does offer free wifi access in Mountain View and New York's Bryant Park.
"San Francisco will be a true test bed for location based services and applications," says Chris Sacca, principal of new business development at Google. While the initial use of location-based services might be limited to more-focussed and targeted advertising, the potential of location-based services is immense, officials said. Sacca pointed out that the network bid was in line with Google's thinking on delivering answers anytime anywhere to anyone, and looking beyond a desktop PC.