Google backs effort to bring free WiFi to cities

This year has already seen Google take some big steps forward in its expansion from a company that provides information services to a company that also provides access to such services. We had already seen what it could do as an ISP with Google Fiber, and now with Project Fi it’s moving into the wireless communication game. Now a Google-created startup is getting involved with another project along those lines, acquiring a couple of the firms working on the LinkNYC effort to bring free high-speed WiFi to the streets of New York City.

LinkNYC intends to blanket the city in WiFi served out of APs installed where old payphones are now. Two of the companies behind the initiative, Titan and Control Group, are being snatched-up by a group of investors led by Sidewalk Labs, a Google-funded company created last month to spur on urban technological innovation.

While that puts Google proper a couple steps removed from the action, it’s clear that the company sees this sort of municipal WiFi project as a smart investment, offering (among other things) lots of new advertising potential – and the Google of today is very much an advertising company.

Look for the first LinkNYC WiFi APs to deploy sometime in September.

Source: Bloomberg
Via: The Verge

Discuss This Post

Read More

Share This Post

Watch the Latest Pocketnow Videos

About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!