Google

A single network could span across cities, states and even countries

A rumored Google initiative to provide local businesses with inexpensive Wifi access points now makes a little more sense, as new details show that Google plans to create a large cloud-connected single Wifi network. Jumping off of a report by The Information yesterday, Gigaom has new information on Google's plans to outfit small businesses with Wifi routers that would connect into a single network spanning across states and even countries. Partnering with Ruckus, a well-known wireless infrastructure company, Google is planning to distribute special wireless routers to small businesses that can be centrally managed in the cloud, rather than on-premises.

The routers, which would be installed in businesses using its current internet connection, would link up to create a network that would in theory span across states, countries and even continents. The ability to do this hinges on routers from Ruckus and new Hotspot 2.0 technology. Once a user logged into one router, the device would then be registered and available to automatically connect to any other router in the cloud-managed network. Think of it working like your saved home Wifi network does, but in various locations.

"By putting the controller in the cloud, Ruckus removes it from the physical network and can hook tens or even hundreds of thousands of individual access points scattered throughout the world onto the same virtual network."

With enough routers and businesses on board, Google could potentially have a distributed Wifi network that spans uninterrupted across entire cities. One of the differing pieces of information with today's report is that Google won't be providing or selling equipment directly to businesses, instead leaving the purchasing of a specific set of gear up to the business itself. The value proposition for the business being better Wifi access to its customers without having to manage anything, as well as the possibility of information for advertising purposes and enhanced cloud-based point-of-sale services.

There's no word on when Google may start to court businesses into participating in this plan, or how long it'd be after that point for it to launch an actual Wifi network that you and I can connect our devices to. Do you see the value in a distributed Wifi network run by Google? Would you be interested in using it on a regular basis?

Source: Gigaom

 
There are 30 comments

Moar wifi!

Posted from my TARDIS!

This would be great. Will be neat if this takes off.

DWR_31 says:

+111111111111111111111111111111111!!!!!!!!!!!

DWR_31 says:

And this is how to totally piss-off AT&T & Comcast!

LeroyRJR says:

And who do you think is going to provibe the actual connection?? local isp's like comcast and at&t

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wezi427 says:

Yup, unless they are using Google Fiber.
I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.

LeroyRJR says:

Google stopped fiber expansion once the actual cost of running a network hit home, and no real plans to restart, so those who live in what, 2, maybe 3 counties,, yea

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twolastnames says:

But it only cost $300 per sub right? /s

It's more like $3-4,000 and then they got to meet uncle Churn.

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LeroyRJR says:

Thats just to get a line down a single block,, now, add years of maintenance, repair, upgrade,, google only saw just getting fiber going,, they didnt realize that fiber is fragile and needs constant attention, and gets horribly expensive to repair cuts (works for an isp, build/maintenance tech) great idea,, not something for a tiny add agency

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Sunofabob says:

+1

AC app via Nexus 7 (2012)

twolastnames says:

It's getting to feel like the tech companies are unwilling to really pay for anything these days. I understand the data centers are expensive, but so is the last mile to a customer, and Google just seems unwilling to help pay for any of it. Making a country wide wireless network on free unregulated spectrum on Internet provided by other companies to sell ads on fridges.

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even if they pay for it, they can't simply walk in and install wifi or fiber. there are the little nuisances called local and state governments that have a huge say in that and they want something for their troubles too which usually makes the difference when it comes to judging the cost/benefit in any endeavour. it's not always the tech company's fault.

DWR_31 says:

What I meant was AT&T along with Comcast won't have the marketing for using all their free WiFi. Any WiFi with these routers will automatically log you on.

Mac58 says:

This could be great. Imagine if this took off, and this one network spanned the whole US, we could just use wifi calling and just say screw the carriers lol. Might take a while, but Im excited for change

Gunner says:

Just pointing out the obvious, of course, but how's that going to work out while driving down the highway?

That would be awesome wouldn't pay for service anymore!!!! Let's do it (GOOGLE Wi-Fi!!)

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twolastnames says:

A couple things. There are parts of cities already with to many wifi networks, this + comcast + whoever else is not helping with this.

If they do try this, the government will want a piece, either with taxes, or regulating the wifi bands, both of which will suck. There is pretty much an unseen war in the 2.4ghz channels that routers wage. Now with higher and higher gain antennas and nobody utilizing the 5ghz spectrum, things are just getting worse. I go to apartment building where there are over 50 visible networks, and nobody with a clue.

So ya, I'm against this. Bid on some of the spectrum, actually pay for your own infrastructure Google, that's getting to be my feeling on some of Google's doings lately.

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LeroyRJR says:

Already in the works, its going to be in the 5ghz area that these city nets are going to be on

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twolastnames says:

I'm not sure what comcast is doing, but Cox in Omaha is using both bands. I asked if we are going to cause more problems for those places with mixed use hipsters all over, answer was probably.

No thank you, this better not come to the UK, it's annoying enough everyone already being forced to share their BT home internet connections.

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bigtank says:

The article title is misleading...I thought GOOG was partnering with The Boondocks or 90s underground hip-hop companies...now Im sad

Aredubu says:

Lol!

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patfactorx says:

I would do it

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casperi says:

So let's see,
1) Piggy back on other peoples ISP backbone
2) Hook up to small businesses that are already the most security lacking/ no funds/ I got a guy that takes care of my network. We give him his coffee for free in exchange.
3) A state or country wide Wi-Fi network would be a hackers dream come true.

Ya Google, sounds like a great idea.

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Gunner says:

RIF. The equipment (and security) would be managed by GOOG in the cloud.

Sunofabob says:

Good feedback on this. I thought it was a solid idea but there are some valid points about security and the lack of infrastructure with their own network clears things up. If it does take off, I'm curious about it's popularity and overall usefulness.

AC app via Nexus 7 (2012)

geoff5093 says:

This is exactly what Comcast is already doing, and works great.

baldypal says:

i'm not a pessimist by any means, but this part needs to be clarified. Makes me think of ads on my device based on the wifi i'm connected to as i walk down the street and what type of business owns that particular router. will i get pet ads about dog food because i walked by the pet store or sat at the bus stop right outside the pet store even though i don't own a dog. now take that as a "clean" example only. the store in this example could sale anything i have no interest in what so ever. i don't want google to think i'm now interested as it does because i searched on it in google. like it does today. which is fine with me. i like interest based ads. i dont want them to think i'm interested in what the store is selling b/c my phone connected to it's wifi as i walked by.

"The value proposition for the business being ... the possibility of information for advertising purposes and enhanced cloud-based point-of-sale services."

takpro says:

Here's a better idea and it can be implemented today for free. Let's pick an arbitrary time say...6 PM EST, everybody in the world send Google a report via Hangouts of where they have been, who they talked to and how they are related to that person, what they researched, what they bought, where they ate, what they thought about, their sexual orientation, how they are feeling, what you think of the governing (Ruling) class, your plans for the future, your religion; etc, etc, etc. That way we could save Google a lot of money and they could give us more free stuff. Oh... don't forget to cc the NSA.

One Network to rule them all,
One Network to find them,
One Network to bring them all
and to our profits bind them!

<muahahahahaha>