Will We Have Free Worldwide Wireless Internet Access From Google?

Published on: Feb 06 2013 by Wayan Vota

google_worldwide

The last mile is the first mile of cost in Internet access. The barriers to connecting everyone to low-cost, high-speed bandwidth are many, and many people feel we are solving the problem with mobile data – connectivity via mobile phones.

But 3G or even 4G speeds pale in comparison to fiber and WiMax is in its infancy (and often expensive), which means 2G is what most of the world’s population has for access via mobiles. EDGE is just not that edgy. In fact, all these systems pale in comparison to what could be coming: free worldwide bandwidth by Google.

The Wall Street Journal says that Google is going wireless:

“Google is trying to create an experimental wireless network covering its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, a move that some analysts say could portend the creation of dense and superfast Google wireless networks in other locations”

Now that’s interesting, but not that relevant to the developing world until you think about the angle that Read Write brings to Google’s actions:

“Imagine how much revenue Google could make if it bypassed the cellular carrier’s data offerings and got the subscription fees from the end users directly. Heck, knowing Google, it might give away access to the wireless service, in exchange for advertising placement and maybe some personal data from users.”

High-speed, Internet bandwidth, everywhere, and free. Is this a dream, or could it be reality? And would you welcome our new wireless overlords?

Wayan Vota is a Senior Mobile Advisor at FHI 360 and is a regular contributor to ICTworks. He co-founded ICTworks, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, Technology Salon, Educational Technology Debate, OLPC News, Kurante, and a few other things.
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6 Comments to “Will We Have Free Worldwide Wireless Internet Access From Google?”

  1. gdanny says:

    I can’t wait for this. I am fed up with the thieving telecoms.

  2. Just hope they try and tackle Africa and rural location – would love to see rural africa connected for free…

    • Theo Mlaki says:

      Rural Africa never enjoys access to Internet. Yet it is the legitimate beneficiary. As soon as it has this access to knowledge, the rest will be history. But which players are sweating to make this a reality?? Negligable. Can somebody come in the manner of Google and look at Rural Africa? One can invest today and create a chunk of yours who will be charged tomorrow. Cant we have such approach

  3. Aaron Mason says:

    Looks like people are already starting to form ranks on this potential battle for broadband… My question is if the FCC in the US does open up a new chunk of spectrum to the public, will folks look to Google or see internet access as more of a municipal utility? Will broadband follow the fire department model and become a public service?

  4. Clark Ritchie says:

    WiMax isn’t in its infancy; it’s dead!

  5. John Zoltner says:

    That’s an easy one: No. I would certainly bet on Google – or a consortium of companies with like interests – to build wireless networks to bypass mobile network operators in key highly-trafficked regions of the world and to throw in some “pro-bono” networks in rural areas where it would be difficult to recoup that wireless capex investment, but the I imagine the financial arguments will win — which is why it’s always hard to ensure that infrastructure will cover the last mile…

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