Google offers free WiFi to San Francisco

Confirming one of the many rumors trailing the company, Google announced its proposal to provide San Francisco with free WiFi service. The company would provide an always-on connection speed of 300 Kbps anywhere in the city. Google said it would also wholesale bandwidth to third parties looking to create premium services with higher throughput. The company plans to use its own authentication services for the "open" service. Google joins a long list of other suitors to San Francisco's TechConnect initiative, which seeks to provide inexpensive and universal WiFi service to the private homes, businesses, and public areas of the city.

Google said the venture will provide an important testing ground for location-based services, including the targeted advertising that would probably fund the service. Service providers fear Google's latest move is a roadtest for a free nationwide WiFi service funded by location-based ads and services. The company claims it has no plans to roll out free nationwide WiFi services.

For more on Google's WiFi plans:
- check out this article in PC Pro

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