No Free WiFi For Next Google City
While San Francisco will see Google and EarthLink roll out a couple of tiers of wireless broadband service, including one for free, the next city probably won’t see a free option.
EarthLink CEO Garry Betty told the Wall Street Journal, “We still don’t believe in the free model much,” due to the cost of building a network and supporting it afterward.
“We’re not in business to break even. We’re in the business of making money for our shareholders,” Betty said.
Breaking even means earning $7 in ad revenue per customer per month in a municipal WiFi system, and Betty doesn’t see search advertising generating that much money. In the past, Microsoft’s chief software architect Bill Gates has said each search user is worth about $50 a year to Google.
Although EarthLink recently lost a bid to supply Portland, OR, with WiFi services, they will likely partner with Google again on bidding for other cities. If that’s true, no one is ready to confirm it yet, as the article noted:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.