The city of Mountain View now had free wireless Internet access from Google

Google today launched free citywide wireless Internet access for its hometown of Mountain View, California.  The Internet service is not ad supported and the network covers the entire 12-square-miles of Mountain View.  The download and upload speeds reportedly run about 1 megabit per second, according to testing done by Google.  The 72,000 person population will have 380 access points spread throughout the city -- Mountain View has been anxiously awaiting the wireless network for a while.  Google hopes that the connection will be fast enough for some residents to consider dropping their cable or DSL Internet service so that they can rely specifically on Google's wireless service. 

The service was expected to launch sometime in September, but Google finished final tests ahead of time with satisfactory results.  Around 1,000 Mountain View residents originally tested the service.  The company will benefit because it sees a spike in usage with its advertising services at locations where broadband becomes more prevalent.

Google and Earthlink have teamed up to try and launch free citywide municipal wireless Internet for the city of San Francisco, which is a much larger project compared to Mountain View.  The Internet service in San Francisco will have two tiers:  Google will offer a free service that would be capped at 300 kbps with ads and a paid subscription service with no ads from Earthlink would have speeds over 1 mbps.  Google does not have plans to launch a wireless Internet service in any other cities at the moment.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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