Google Plans superfast and Free Wi-Fi hubs in cities around the world with its new startup
Google’s Sidewalk Labs wants to bring free public WiFi projects to cities around the world. It plans to buy two companies with a plan to cover the New York City with superfast Internet.
Larry Page had earlier this month announced that Google would be launching a new startup firm called Sidewalk Labs to develop and produce technology for cities. Free high speed Internet in cities is said to be a moonshot project that may not seem as unbelievable as projects such as taking a shot at curing death or developing the self-driving car. However, free city high speed Internet still remains an exciting idea.
A new venture which is named Intersection will seek to bring free public WiFi to cities around the world by using different types of urban infrastructure from bus stops to pay phones. Sidewalk Labs for this venture is planning to lead the acquisition of two companies which are behind New York City’s LinkNYC initiative, which is ongoing plan to convert old pay phones into free public WiFi hubs. The two companies will be merged for this project, which is Control Group and Titan. While Control Group will be providing the interface for the planned new hubs, Titan will be overlooking the advertising that would pay for this project.
The first project of Sidewalk Labs is to bring free high speed WiFi to cities across the world, according to the reports from Bloomberg. By September, New York’s old pay phone booths will be replaced by tall, thin pillars with digital tablet interfaces and large advertisements on the sides.
Anyone who is within a 150-foot radius will be given free Internet access. Over the period of the next 12 years, this is expected to bring $500 million in advertising revenue to New York City. This is certainly an extremely interesting and very promising profitable venture.
Sidewalk is targeting issues of modern cities such as energy, cost of living, traffic, pollution and communications. “It was formed to look at the confluence of the physical and digital world to solve urban problems,” Chief Executive Officer Dan Doctoroff said. He did not disclose which cities he has planned to push for the Wi-Fi but has anticipated that the technology will go global.
“There are certainly places that it’s immediately replicable,” he said, adding that the idea is to “use technology not to make cities all the same, but enhance what makes them unique and individual.”
Doctoroff was a deputy mayor of New York City under Michael Bloomberg and is the former CEO of Bloomberg LP, which owns Bloomberg Business.