Google To Give Away The Internet For Free!

Dennis Faas's picture

Residents of Mountain View, California -- where Google is based -- now have a new reason to appreciate their hometown company. The organization announced that it will be giving away free wireless (WiFi) Internet access to the entire city.

Mountain View has a population of about 72,000, but with major tech firms like Google and VeriSign based there, that number can reach up to 100,000 during the day. However, Google is confident that its new service can weather the masses.

"We aren't concerned about being able to handle the load," assured Google executive Chris Sacca. "We think we have built a pretty cool, robust network." (Source:

To log on, users need a WiFi-enabled computer or an external WiFi card, along with a Google username and password. Download and upload speeds will be 1 megabit per second -- a very respectable rate. To connect indoors, an external antenna repeater may need to be attached to the building to receive Google's signal.

Users of Google's new free service won't have a customer support phone service to rely on for help, but an online message board and local education classes will be provided by the company. (Source:

Security issues aren't a concern either, Sacca claims. He calls the network "very naive" and promises that it won't track people's online activities unless they're on a Google site.

Of course, Google isn't doing this for entirely altruistic reasons: the company profits whenever people surf across their online ads, so it makes sense to provide easy, free Internet access for that purpose alone. (Source:

Will Google take their free Internet beyond Mountain View? Unfortunately, according to Sacca, the answer is no. (Source:

However, Mountain View isn't the only town lucky enough to have the Internet at no cost. St. Cloud, Florida -- population 28,000 -- launched its own free WiFi network earlier this year. (Source:

Could this eventually be a staple in all cities, and the future of the Internet as we know it? At this point, it's still way too soon to tell if the industry will ever head in that direction.

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