A magazine is speculating that Google is gearing up to offer free Wi-Fi service across the United States.
Om Malik, in a recent article in Business 2.0, points out that Google is buying up unused fiber-optic cable all over the U.S.
Of course, this bandwidth will be used to carry Web traffic to Google servers, but Malik points out that it could be used for other things, too.
The thing that really makes Malik think that this company plans to offer nationwide Wi-Fi service is the fact that it’s already offering such a service in San Fransisco, which could easily be a test run for a much larger program.
The Google-sponsored hotspot is being managed by Feeva, and this company says it also intends to offer free Wi-Fi in other spots around the U.S. However, it won’t say if Google will be involved in these.
Google is also keeping mum about its plans for Wi-Fi.
If this project does happen, it will most likely be advertiser supported. Feeva has software that is capable of pinpointing the position of each of its users, allowing location-specific advertising.
So, for example, someone on a street corner surfing the Web on his handheld would get an advertisement for a restaurant right across the street.
In his article, Malik also talks about other uses Google might have for its fiber-optic cable network, like searching video and audio files, as well as VOIP.
Thanks to Engadget for the tip.