Mountain View to partially replace Google Wi-Fi

A recent test found it impossible to get a working connection on the company-sponsored network

Mountain View City Hall

Mountain View City Hall

Mountain View is installing new Wi-Fi hotspots in parts of the city to supplement the poorly performing network operated by Google.

Google, which is based in Mountain View, launched a citywide Wi-Fi network with much fanfare in 2006 as a way for residents and businesses to connect to the Internet at no cost. It covers most of the Silicon Valley city and worked well until last year when connectivity got rapidly worse, according to residents.

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.

"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," Kimberly Thomas, assistant to the city manager in Mountain View, said on Tuesday.

As a result, it's installing an upgraded network at City Hall that will also extend to the town's library. In both locations, Google's Wi-Fi network has been the only option for wireless connectivity.

The city and Google have both blamed the problems on the design of the network. It's been unable to keep up with the demands of today's data-rich society, with laptops, smartphones and tablets downloading megabytes of information at a time.

City staff are working with Google on alternatives for the citywide network and hope to have a plan before the City Council in the next few months, Thomas said. "The current system will remain at its status quo condition until options for its future are finalized."

In the meantime, the city is moving ahead with its upgrades.

In a brief comment, Google said it was "actively in discussions with the Mountain View city staff to review several options for the future of the network."

Google is involved in several projects to provide Internet access in various parts of the world. In the U.S., it has been deploying gigabit-per-second fiber-optic connections in some cities, and in remote areas it's experimenting with hot air balloons as a way to provide network service.

Earlier this week, Google said it helped found the Alliance for Affordable Internet to reduce the cost of Internet connectivity in developing nations.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GooglewirelessNetworkingWLANs / Wi-Fi

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?