In 2006, with a fair deal of excitement, Google launched a scheme which would bring citywide free Wi-Fi internet to its hometown of Mountain View, California. Seven years after this generous offer, it seems Google’s network just cannot keep up with demands, leaving the city to fill in the gaps.
By all reports, Google’s hometown Wi-Fi network offered a reliable connection until last year, when residents claim the service started to deteriorate rapidly. Since then, city officials say they have received numerous complaints about the poor connectivity and lack of available internet in public spaces such as the town library. These problems have led the city to begin installing Wi-Fi hotspots in City Hall and the struggling library, amongst other public locations.
According to city officials, and to Google itself, the connectivity problem has everything to do with the design of the network. When the Wi-Fi scheme was set up seven years ago, there was far less demand for data than there is now, with smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices all vying to keep connected to the internet.
Currently, city staff will continue to search for network solutions with Google, whilst also moving ahead with the installation of hotspots and upgrades.