While many municipal WiFi projects have met with failure, there's one developing that looks like it has a great chance for success. We've heard about the various projects taking place in California for wireless, and here's an update on a particularly interesting one. Google
is going home and offering free WiFi
to the city of Mountain View. Set to cover around 72,000 people, it's the largest city-wide WiFi project to date. Despite the fact that the city often sees over 100,000 people within its limits per day, Google is not at all concerned about bandwidth:
About 72,000 people reside in Mountain View, an 11.5-square-mile city located about 35 miles south of San Francisco. As the home to major companies like Google and VeriSign, Mountain View's daytime population can swell above 100,000. "We aren't concerned about being able to handle the load," said Chris Sacca, a Google executive who oversaw the Mountain View project. "We think we have built a pretty cool, robust network."
While the service will be offered free by Google, they won't be “cataloging” data that comes across their wires, excluding what they already track on their own sites. It would be very interesting to see how they plan on organizing and implementing this in the long run, especially when it comes to availability to regular users and future plans.
Supposedly, they'll be able to offer speeds comparable to DSL lines. which would be quite impressive if they are able to sustain it.