WASHINGTON — Your free neighborhood coffee shop wireless hotspots brought to you by Google!
That could be more reality than fiction for those in San Francisco and sooner rather than later. Reuters reports that Google offers to fund these wireless hotspots, where users can use the internet (WiFi) for free as long as Google pays for it.
Why would Google do this? The $600,000 offer for 31 public places is chump change for the Internet search engine giant, who benefits from any semblance of Internet use. They reported $50 billion in revenue last year, mostly from internet search ads and clicks.
The project is being considered by the city’s officials, but has been done before in Google’s hometown of Mountain View, California, in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood and Boston’s South Station.
This is a welcome change for Google, whose tax practices are under scrutiny in Europe as European lawmakers look for ways to glean tax revenue from the Internet giant.