Google to offer businesses cheap Wi-Fi routers

Google aims to make it easier for the public to access its online services by offering businesses heavily subsidised Wi-Fi routers.

The routers will be offered to small- and medium-sized businesses such as bars, restaurants or even libraries where customers are likely to access the internet, according to plans seen by The Information.

The idea is to make it easier for people to get online while away from home, reducing barriers that might prevent users from accessing Google’s portfolio of services.

Google will take the pain out of having to log in to every Wi-Fi hotspot with different credentials by automatically authenticating users with their Google username and password every time they’re within range of one of the hotspots.

The commerical-grade routers will run off the business’ existing internet connection, with Google heavily subsidising the cost of the hardware itself. It’s unclear whether the scheme will be offered outside of the US.

Google has several initiatives running to make internet connectivity ubiquitous. It operates its own fibre network in parts of the US, while the ambitious Project Loon aims to beam internet connections to some of the remotest parts of the world using various types of aircraft, including hot-air balloons.

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