You can partially scratch one item off Google’s world domination list. It’s all over the tech news arena.
Introducing Google WiFi, Google’s free wireless Internet service. Google has confirmed that it has begun a limited test of the service in a pizza parlor and a gym near the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA.
“Google WiFi is a community outreach program to offer free wireless access in areas near our headquarters,” says Google spokesman Nate Tyler.
“At this stage in development, we’re focused on collecting feedback from users. We’ll determine next steps as the product evolves,” he said.
Free wireless communications would take Google even further from its Internet search roots and move it into the fiercely competitive world of Internet access providers and telecommunications companies.
Tyler said the project was started as part of a Google engineer’s “20 percent time project.”
Google encourages its engineers to spend 20% of their work time developing independent projects. Several of Google’s new products have grown out of such projects, including Google News, contextual advertising program AdSense and social-networking test project Orkut.
Jay Ackroyd’s Google is Cleverer Than You Are offers an interesting commentary on the soon-to-be-launched service.