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Google Networking The Internet Wireless Networking Technology

Google Wiring New York City's Chelsea For Free Wi-Fi 67

Nerval's Lobster writes "On the heels of rolling out high-speed broadband to Kansas City, Google is bringing more connectivity to another American municipality: New York City's Chelsea neighborhood, which will receive Wi-Fi in outdoor areas courtesy of the search-engine giant. The free Internet zone will encompass an area between 8th Avenue and the West Side Highway on the East-West access, and 19th Street and Gansevoort Street on the North-South. It will cost $115,000 to build and $45,000 a year to maintain, according to Bloomberg, with costs split between Google and a nonprofit neighborhood development group. Internet access will come free of advertising, aside from a provider message from Google, and not require any sort of password. Under mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City has encouraged the development of a sizable tech sector; in addition to dozens of startups, Google and other behemoths have opened headquarters in Manhattan. In theory, this 'Silicon Alley' will contribute mightily to the city's tax base and diversify the local economy."
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Google Wiring New York City's Chelsea For Free Wi-Fi

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  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @04:26PM (#42523457) Homepage

    Until they get a subpeona for someone downloading child porn or downloading music.

    If they simply say "well, we have no idea of who is using it for what", some clever lawyer will say they're facilitating this.

  • Tracking (Score:3, Insightful)

    by systemidx ( 2708649 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @04:55PM (#42523865)
    While it says that it will come free from advertising, it DOESN'T say that you won't be monitored while connected. I'm certain they will recoup costs this way. Nothing is ever free.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @05:51PM (#42524575)

    'nuff said, yo.

  • by cdrguru ( 88047 ) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @06:56PM (#42525319) Homepage

    Let's see... they are sharing the cost with some neighborhood group but you can bet that Google will receive 100% of the market research data, tracking data and web advertising benefits from this. All the while the people are using this thinking that it is a free service given to them gratis out of the goodness of a multibillion dollar giant.


    Google has found a way to monetize the Internet in interesting ways that either haven't occurred to others yet or aren't available to others because they do not have the market reach. This allows them to give valuable stuff away apparently for free while all the time raking in huge amounts of money. Some disclosure might be nice here - like how much Google will make the first year of doing this. If this information became public it might inspire other companies to do likewise until everyone had their fill of apparently free stuff with huge hidden costs in privacy and tracking. Rolling out a city or two a year isn't going to show people the real downside to this tactic.

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain