Access to Mountain View’s upcoming Google-powered WiFi network will require a Google account when it launches later this year. Users of the public WiFi network will land on a specially configured Google homepage for the city of Mountain View upon successful login with local modules such as weather, news, Chamber of Commerce, and school information.
Requiring an account for every user means almost every person in Mountain View will have a GTalk account. Not only will you be able to likely connect instantly to people you know, but it will also be possible to browse users on nearby nodes if Google opens up the capability.
The new WiFi network was introduced to Mountain View residents last Thursday and includes 350 radios on lamp posts and three aggregation points at Google, Red Hat, and St. Francis High, a local private high school. The three aggregation points are plotted on the map below.
Residents are encouraged to purchase a PePLink Surf CPE device for their homes to boost the outside signal. The municipal network provides up to 1 Mbps connection to its users depending on variables such as distance from the nearest radio and current network usage. AT&T offers residential DSL starting at $13 a month for up to 1.5 Mbps. Local cable company Comcast charges $58 a month for up to 6 Mbps.