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Google Wireless ISP?

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Google Wireless ISP?

Google Wireless ISP?

Google wi-fi broadband network? Om Malik hypothesizes. This would be potentially very appealing for both for consumers and advertisers (creates more reliable geotargeting). “Appealing?” Perhaps that’s too tepid—more like boom chaka laka!

“What if Google (GOOG) wanted to give Wi-Fi access to everyone in America? And what if it had technology capable of targeting advertising to a user’s precise location? The gatekeeper of the world’s information could become one of the globe’s biggest Internet providers and one of its most powerful ad sellers, basically supplanting telecoms in one fell swoop. Sounds crazy, but how might Google go about it?”

If it was free (Google might be advised to charge nominally) it would kill the business models of T-Mobile, Cingular and others that provide (and bill for) wi-fi access from Stabucks, airport locations and more. And if it was truly national, it might also start to pinch the likes of Comcast (my ISP).

In that scenario Google becomes a telco and would create many enemies. Let’s see if it’s real.

Greg Sterling is managing editor of The Kelsey Group. He also leads The Kelsey Group’s the Interactive Local Media program, focusing on local search. Greg came to The Kelsey Group from TechTV’s “Working the Web,” the first national television show dedicated to e-business and the Internet.

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