Google WiFi Falling Down As Mountain View Moves To Get Off Network

You’d think that if you lived in Mountain View, home of Google, you’d have killer Internet access. And if you were living there several years ago you’d be right, as the search giant installed free WiFi all over the city in 2006. It was no doubt a delightful perk, at least until last year when the citywide WiFi reportedly suddenly began flaking out.

"The city has received many complaints in recent months regarding the performance and reliability of the free Google Wi-Fi system in Mountain View, particularly at our library," Kimberly Thomas, assistant to the city manager in Mountain View, told IT World. City Hall’s WiFi is apparently also down, as are other spots around town.

Mountain Viw, CA where Google WiFi has been having issues
Mountain View, CA

The parties involved, including Google itself, concur that the primary issue is the design of the network, which simply wasn’t built to handle today’s exploding web traffic. That’s not terribly surprising--the network was built seven years ago, which is an eon in Internet technology time. Things have changed quite a bit since then, including the advent of mountains of mobile Internet traffic.

The city is working on upgrades to fix the problem, specifically at City Hall and the library. In the meantime, the city is working with Google on a an alternative, the plans for which will be presented at the city council soon.

Google HQ Mountain View, CA
Google will totally do the right thing. Right?

It’s perhaps a little embarrassing for Google to see a wireless network it built crap out, especially at the same time that it’s rocking the ISP market with its Google Fiber initiatives, but surely it will do right by its hometown and get that aging WiFi back up to speed.

Or maybe Google will go whole hog and turn Mountain View into the next Google Fiber project.