Google WiFi Network Launches in Mountain View
After one year of planning and testing, Google has opened GoogleFi; its WiFi network prototype, in its own backyard of Mountain View. GoogleFi opened at 9 pm PST, and it’s now 1 am on the East Coast, so I’m going to give the mike to Om Malik and his crew at GigaOM:
The Mountain View network that cost nearly a million dollars to build went live at 9pm PST today. In order to use the network, the users will need a Google login, and those who don’t have Google ID, will be given a chance to sign up for the service, company officials said in an interview.
Chris Sacca, Head of Special Initiatives at Google says that at present the company is offering a one-megabit per second connection for everyone, and will tweak the capacity depending on how people use the network. For instance if a lot of people are watching online videos, then the capacity might get a booster shot.
The network, which covers 11.5 square miles, features 380 access points, all supplied by Tropos Networks, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company. One in six access points is a gateway by Tel Aviv-based Alvarion. There are three bandwidth aggregation points in the network that are connected to GooglePlex using point-to-point gear from GigaBeam, an equipment vendor based in Herndon, Virginia. The network was designed by Google engineers and installed by WFI, a San Diego-based network builder.
Update from the Google Blog:
Google launched a WiFi network in our hometown of Mountain View. Radios hanging on lampposts throughout the city are now broadcasting a “GoogleWiFi” wireless (802.11b/g) signal that brings wireless Internet access to the city’s residents, businesses, and visitors. All anyone needs is a laptop or other wireless-enabled device and a web browser to get online. Then Mountain View users can select the “GoogleWiFi” signal, open their web browser and sign in with a free Google Account. To learn more about the network’s coverage area and the location of the WiFi radios, we’ve published a map.
This network is a way for us to give back to and engage with the community where our headquarters are. As the product manager for Google WiFi, it has been has been tremendously rewarding to partner with the local government, the schools, the library, the neighborhood associations, and all of our trusted testers to introduce the power of free, wireless Internet connectivity to the city. I look forward to meeting with more members of the community at upcoming training sessions and ice cream socials :-).
Another goal of this network is to promote alternative access technologies by using Mountain View as an example for organizations considering investments in the WiFi arena. We think successful mesh wireless deployments will promote competition, create cheaper access alternatives, and (if done correctly) foster open, standards-compliant platforms for content and service providers to showcase their applications without the hassle of the traditional walled-garden approach.