World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Google WiFi

Article Id: WHEBN0002715810
Reproduction Date:

Title: Google WiFi  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Wi-Fi providers, Internet service providers of the United States, Mayoralty of Gavin Newsom, Google services, AT&T Internet Services
Collection: Google Services, Wi-Fi Providers
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Google WiFi

Google WiFi is a municipal wireless network deployed in Mountain View, California. It is entirely funded by Google and installed primarily on Mountain View lightposts. Google had committed to keeping the service free until 2010. The initial service was shut down by Google on May 3, 2014 at their Mountain View base, and provided a new public outdoor WiFi.[1]


  • Wireless access 1
  • Rollout 2
  • Network Decline 3
  • Partnership with Starbucks 4
  • Wi-Fi pylons 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Wireless access

As of 2009, Google used over 500 Tropos Networks MetroMesh routers acting as access points mounted primarily on utility poles providing usable signal and broadband internet access to over 95% of the city's area of 12 square miles (31 km2). As of 2009, it serves over 16,000 unique users each month and handles over 500 gigabytes of data in 24 hours. There are three aggregation points (or base stations) that all traffic is forwarded to. The radios in the access points offer both GoogleWiFi (which has no encryption) and GoogleWiFiSecure (which uses WPA to encrypt the over-the-air traffic) service set identifiers (SSID). Google WiFi only requires its end users have a Google Account. Google offers a free virtual private network (VPN) software client called Google Secure Access (GSA) and maintains a list of other recommended third-party VPN software packages. Unlike a residential gateway, the network does not use network address translation (NAT): it provides a routable IP Address from a DHCP pool with a one-hour "DHCP lease" under the DNS domain directly to the client PC. A mobile laptop user can roam through Mountain View and maintain the same IP address for at least the one-hour lease time.[2]

While the equipment is of high quality and well-placed, actual coverage with a laptop with built-in Wi-Fi hardware is less than 100% of the claimed area; the system works well in commercially zoned areas but residential coverage areas are still spotty from block to block. There are areas in the city which do not have city owned light poles and thus do not have routers.[3]


The service was announced by Google on September 20, 2005 and the service went live on August 16, 2006. Google WiFi was available throughout most of Mountain View.[4][5]

Network Decline

Around the summer of 2012, the network declined significantly.[6] Users in some neighborhoods could not get connections, and the connections that were obtained in other areas had problems. Mountain View stated, "The city has received many complaints in recent months regarding the performance and reliability of the free Google Wi-Fi system in Mountain View, particularly at our library."[7]

ComputerWorld reported that "An August field test by IDG News Service found it impossible to get a working connection at numerous points around the city, including City Hall and the main library."[8] Users at the library do not use the Google WiFi connection but rather the wired ethernet connections that the library makes available at many tables."

While the city does not know what is causing the network disturbances, Google believes that the problem is caused by the amount of traffic accessing the network, stating "The company has said increased demands for bandwidth from increased use of sites like Netflix and Hulu have overwhelmed the original infrastructure."[9][10]

Partnership with Starbucks

During the summer of 2013, Starbucks began replacing AT&T with Google Wi-Fi in its 7,000 locations in the United States.[11] As of May 2015, the switch to Google is incomplete in many stores including most stores in major cities.

Wi-Fi pylons

Google plans to turn 10,000 of New York City's old phone booths into ad-supported "Wi-Fi pylons".[12] These converted booths may also provide phone charging, free domestic phone calls and information hub about the city.


  1. ^ Google. "Google WiFi for Mountain View". 
  2. ^ Google Wifi September 11, 2007
  3. ^ Google WiFi help group
  4. ^ Slashdot: Google WiFi+VPN Confirmed September 20, 2006
  5. ^ Free citywide WiFi in Mountain View August 16, 2006
  6. ^ DeBolt 2013 quotes a library employee stated the "service became noticeably poor in January."
  7. ^ Colaner, Seth (9 October 2013), Google WiFi Falling Down As Mountain View Moves To Get Off Network, 
  8. ^ Williams, Martyn (9 October 2013), "Mountain View to partially replace Google Wi-Fi: A recent test found it impossible to get a working connection on the company-sponsored network in the city", ComputerWorld 
  9. ^ DeBolt, Daniel (3 October 2013), City Hall to switch off Google WiFi, Mountain View Voice, We started to get a lot of complaints," said Steve Rodriguez, the city's IT manager. "We generally get them in the library. From what I can tell it's pretty much not working anymore. We get asked a lot, 'What is going on with the Google wireless?'" Rodriguez's response? "I don't know. 
  10. ^ DeBolt 2013
  11. ^ Tibken, Shara, At Starbucks, AT&T is out and Google is in for Wi-fi, 
  12. ^ "Google wants to bring free wifi to the world…. and it’s starting NOW". Metro UK. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 

External links

  • Official website
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.