Mountain View Voice

News - November 29, 2013

Google WiFi replaced in City Hall, library

by Daniel DeBolt

After getting numerous complaints about Google's aging free Google WiFi system, city officials announced last week that a new city-operated system has replaced it — but only in City Hall and the library.

"This is just the beginning of making WiFi more accessible in Mountain View — we hope to have additional network improvements on other city properties, and we continue to work with Google towards an overhaul of their local WiFi," said City Manager Dan Rich.

The new network, which shows up as "cmvwifi"— may soon be extended to other city properties such as the community center and Civic Center plaza. The city has set aside $130,000 to fund the system.

City officials said the system was designed "with security in mind" and uses the latest in WiFi technology for faster and more reliable connections.

"The current WiFi networks in the library and City Hall are old and haven't been working well for a while," said Mountain View IT manager Steve Rodriguez. "We want to make sure that Mountain View residents can access reliable internet service when they're in these buildings."

In October, a library staff member told the Voice that Google WiFi had become noticeably spotty in January, saying "the service is just not cutting it." A sign saying that "Google WiFi is not working" was often on display in the library when the service was down.

Since 2006, Google has provided free wireless internet access throughout Mountain View, primarily through hundreds of light pole-mounted nodes. Complaints about the service sharply increased in January, with Google blaming problems on the age of the system and its inadequate bandwidth.

Email Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com

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