Google patents free Wi-Fi

The search-engine giant has developed three technologies for offering wireless Internet access, and advertising, free of charge. Plus: London fights graffiti with cameraphones.

More evidence has emerged that Google is getting ready to blanket the U.S. with free Wi-Fi, as Business 2.0 senior writer Om Malik reported last year. Now, the company has filed for three patents related to offering wireless Internet access. Search Engine Roundtable points out that the patents all have to do with serving up advertising through a wireless Internet connection maintained by a third party, whose brand Google would include in the presentation of those ads. Sounds a lot like Google’s latest plan to unwire San Francisco, where it has teamed up with EarthLink (Research). By teaming up with partners who would build the actual Wi-Fi infrastructure, Google (Research) could complete a nationwide Wi-Fi network much more quickly than if it had to build it itself.

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