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