The Good & Bad of Google Offering Nationwide WiFi

With Google’s interest in securing a section of the upcoming wireless spectrum that becomes available after the digital switch, there’s been some speculation that the main intention on Google’s mind is to offer a free nationwide wifi network based on the high-power frequencies usually reserved for television.

Not long ago, Google submitted a six-page letter to the FCC outlining processes and tests to avoid interference on the frequencies in question, which was a major concern to the FCC. Google also promised to reserve some frequencies to be used not for wireless Internet and provide free tech support for people using their WiFi. It looks as though they’re laying the groundwork to dovetail nicely with the launch of upcoming Android handsets. That is if the FCC and the privacy groups don’t interfere.

If Google can control the network, as well as the handset software, and combine it with their core search engine knowledge, it will post serious privacy concerns regarding the vast amount of personal data and pure information Google would control. Since Google’s number one goal is to generate a larger footprint to incorporate it’s advertising models into, it obviously makes sense that it would want to place itself at all levels of the process, but controlling and managing that much information could cause problems.

On the other hand, the benefits are enormous in terms of both advertising revenue for Google, and the fact that everyone would have access to a completely free wifi network that’s available anywhere, anytime. It would take a ton of testing and configuring to make sure it’s secure and stable enough for widespread adoption, but exciting to think about nonetheless. We’ll see what happens…