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November 17, 2005

City Accepts Google's Free Wi-Fi Offer

Courtesy of Mobile Pipeline

The city council of Mountain View, California this week took Google up on its offer to provide free city-wide Wi-Fi service, the San Jose Mercury News has reported.

The council voted unanimously to accept the Google plan, which will result in a five-year contract that will start in June for deployment and management of the network. Google's headquarters is in San Francisco and the company also is bidding to provide similar service for San Francisco.

"It's going to make us one of the first, if not the first, to have citywide Internet," Mayor Matt Neely was quoted by the newspaper as saying. ". It's a pretty cool thing. We're thrilled for all our neighbor cities who get to follow our lead."

The newspaper quoted a council member as saying that the free service is only appropriate.

"We are in the birthplace, the heart and soul of Silicon Valley, so not to have citywide Wi-Fi is almost embarrassing," councilman Mike Kasperzak said. "It's great for people who live here, who work here, who want to go sit downtown and log on, and to some degree it's helping Google test out a theory."

Google has said it is not interested in providing free Wi-Fi in a lot of locations but, rather, wants to deploy the free system to test out its ability to provide location-based content to users. That, in turn, would open the way for Google to sell local advertising.

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