Google is working to bring low-cost Wifi access hardware to small business is hopes of getting more people online around the world. According to a report out of The Information, Google Access — the same group that runs Google Fiber — is coming up with a plan that will offer small businesses heavily discounted enterprise-grade Wifi access points and other hardware to provide better internet access to customers. The initiative is currently targeting the likes of restaurants, gyms and doctors' offices— businesses that regularly have people coming and going and would want internet access.
The business would benefit from inexpensive and improved Wifi access for customers, and in turn Google would control who could have quick and easy access to the network. The idea being that once a customer connects to one "Google" Wifi hotspot, they would then be able to automatically connect to any other hotspot operated by Google in partnership with a business. It isn't clear at this point whether or not it'd require a sign-in with your Google Account, or if information on usage would be shared with the businesses.
In contrast to previous initiatives and partnerships, the goal here is to simply provide the specialized Wifi hardware to businesses, while the business itself would provide the internet connection to that hardware. This could provide the system with serious scale — the report claims that Google plans to push this initiative around the world, not just in the U.S.
Since Google isn't actually manufacturing the Wifi access point hardware and is targeting businesses directly, it isn't clear at this point how it plans to market to or get the attention of potential partners. If Google were to get a good number of business on-board with the deal, it could easily make the vast array of Wifi networks a selling point for having a Google Account.
Source: The Information