Wednesday, October 05, 2005
If you’re over fifty years old you’ll remember when the newest thing in technology was HiFi…today the newest thing is WiFi.
WiFi is wireless Internet access. It’s been around for a little while…some people even have it in their home. About a year ago this blog discussed a unique proposal by officials of Philadelphia that would make the entire city a wireless Internet hotspot. After many months of legal and political wrangling it appears this will finally become a reality. Internet service provider, Earthlink will build and maintain this municipal wireless system. “Wireless Philadelphia” is the name of the nonprofit organization established to oversee the project. City officials expect that construction of the network will begin within six months. The total price tag is between $10-$15 million. Earthlink will fund the entire cost and expects to generate funds through a small subscription fee. “Wireless Philadelphia” will receive a portion of the profits to be used to help fund economic development. Not to be out done San Francisco wants the same…and Internet giant Google is stepping up to the plate. Although not a player in Philly, Google, is offering to provide San Francisco blanket wireless Internet coverage… for Free….Free?…yes, FREE to users and taxpayers as well. Many industry observers believe that Google has plans to provide a network of wireless coverage throughout major cities in the US. The long-term effects of wireless are just beginning to be seen. The next generation of wireless Internet called WiMAX will be launched in a few years. WiMAX is much faster than WiFi. WiMax will allow wireless video downloads and mobile phone calls over the Internet…for free. How can Google do it for free? Google intents to use the WiFi connection to target advertising…Example: you’re sitting on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco…looking out at Alcatraz…you decide to use Google’s free wireless connection to search the history of the prison…all of a sudden you get a pop-up Ad from your provider which has ID your computer’s network address…(“For a mere $25.00 see the Rock on Big Al’s Alcatraz Tours”). Now that’s what I call effectively targeting your audience…I suspect that "Big Al" would pay Google a fortune for that Ad. Well, I guess my father was right “nothing is free in this world”.
Posted by Tony Accardi at 10/05/2005 01:32:00 PM