Is Google quietly funding large scale Wi-Fi projects?

I was surprised to hear that Pryor, Oklahoma (pop. 9500) received a $200,000 grant from Google to deploy and maintain a free public Wi-Fi network that covers 13 blocks around the downtown area. The grant will cover the first three years of operation of the network. Google opened a data center not far from Pryor, powered by electricity generated by the Grand River Dam Authority.

Similarly in Douglasville, Georgia, Google funded a free public Wi-Fi network that covers 60 acres of the city, including the area around City Hall, Jesse Davis Park, the football field and the plaza. Google operates a data centre nearby which employs more than 300 people.


  1. Google needs to begin pulling together all the threads. Their approach to access appears haphazard and closed; as opposed to broadbased, open and generative. They do not appear to be willing to share the data the way they do in other businesses. With so much attention being focused on them they could be getting meaningful policy changes instead of conjecture and misunderstanding at the local, regional and national levels.