If you're interested in learning more about Google's plan (one of 17) for providing free Wi-Fi access throughout San Francisco, the San Jose Mercury News article: S.F. unveils 17 firms' WiFi bids, has a few more details in addition to what was reported a few weeks ago.
We've also made available the full text of an eight page document of the request for information/comments (RFI/C) Google (Word Doc) filed with the city. Note: If you would like to read the RFI/C filed by the 16 other providers, you can download them all here. Comments that were submitted are also available for download. More about the SF plan here.
From the Merc article:
Google has offered to build the network for free, as has fellow Mountain View company MetroFi. Google's eight-page response was heavy on company philosophy, but provided few details on the company's blueprint for a San Francisco wireless Internet, or WiFi, network.
The company hopes to work with San Diego-based WFI, which would provide network engineering and installation services. Google also hopes to leverage its skill at bringing ultra-targeted advertising to those who use its network. `Now mom-and-pop local shops will be able to specifically target affordable advertisements to WiFi network users within a few-block radius,'' Google said in its response. Google's response said it would bring free Web connection speeds of 300 kilobits per second citywide.
I focused on the very localized advertising that would be available in my first post about the plan.
- Google plans to build and operate a Wi-Fi mesh network covering the City and County of San Francisco. To ensure availability by the largest number of client devices, the network will use open radio standards, including 802.11b and 802.11g as well as 802.11n (when ratified). The network will be designed to offer more than 1Mbps of symmetric service throughout the entire city.
- To facilitate better indoor reception, users may be encouraged to purchase a CPE (customer premises equipment) to connect to the Wi-Fi network.
- In furtherance of the goal of enabling other providers to offer services on the Google Wi-Fi network, wholesale access will be provided at rates vastly discounted from the retail prices at which fixed line and 3G service providers are offering services today. Any willing partners will be able to resell access to a network at substantially higher data rates than the free solution, potentially reaching 2-3Mbps of throughput. Google may also sell such high speed access to consumers, as well as other potential premium services.
- The City will make available to Google the rights to mount radios (access points) and point-to-multipoint gateways on approximately 1900 lamp posts and at building locations determined by our clutter analysis.
- The remainder of the eight page document has info about Google company leadership, Google's wireless "philosophy", a sentence on Google Secure Access, material on what will make the Google's SF service successful including the company's important quality, "may be our refusal to accept the status quo," and Google's ability to work with their project partner, WFI. Lots of WFI info, too.