Google has announced a new program intended to make fast Wi-Fi available to public places all over the planet. Google Station will act as an expansion of the work that the company has already done in offering effective internet connections to customers of RailTel and Indian Railways.
The program will bring high quality Wi-Fi to public locations like cafes and malls, according to a report from Mashable. Fast speeds, reliable connections, and data privacy are all key components of the service, as per the informational website that Google launched earlier today.
Google began its partnership with RailTel and Indian Railways in September 2015, and one year later, the company reportedly serves Wi-Fi to over 3.5 million users a month across 52 stations. The company’s data suggests that the program allows 15,000 new Indian users to access the internet for the first time every day.
However, while Google offers Wi-Fi access for free in India, there’s no word at present as to whether or not Google Station will carry a price tag in other regions.
Rather than focusing solely on railway partnerships, Google will take a broader approach with the global rollout of Google Station. The website detailing the program states that the company is pursuing partnerships with “large venues and organizations, network operators, fiber providers, system integrators and infrastructure companies.”
The motivation behind Google Station is very clear. People can’t use Google’s array of online services without an internet connection, so it makes complete sense that the company would endeavor to give users access to Wi-Fi in as broad a range of locations as possible.
However, the link between this project and Google Fiber is less obvious. While the company does make reference to fiber providers in its description of Google Station, the program’s focus on wireless connections would seem to add weight to reports from August 2016 which suggested that the future of the Fiber effort would move from wired to wireless.