Google did not buy hotspot provider ICOA for 400 million UPDATED

first_imgUpdate – Both Google and ICOA have released public statements denying that an acquisition has happened. ICOA CEO George Strouthopoulos commented further in an email to TechCrunch that there has never been any discussions with any potential acquirers.For quite a while now, Google has been providing WiFi to the city of Mountain View for free. If you live within range, you can connect to the service and use it indefinitely. Google has also partnered with Boingo to offer free WiFi at thousands of other locations across the US, though none quite so large as their hometown offering. As with anything from Google, the only thing you pay for the service is what Google scrapes from how you use the service. Today, Google has announced the purchase of WiFi hotspot provider ICOA with the intent to provide their service to even more users.ICOA offers wired and wireless Internet access to 1500 sites across 45 states, according to their website. By targeting high traffic areas that ordinarily wouldn’t provide internet service, like marinas and campgrounds as well as airports, ICOA provides a solution that is in line with what Google has already been trying to accomplish with their 4,000 hotspot strong Boingo partnership. It’s unclear how Google will use ICOA moving forward, including whether or not the purchase has anything to do with Google Fiber, but the purchase extends Google’s data scraping capabilities significantly.Google’s expansion into this market matches recent expansions by Comcast, whose XFinity WiFi service allows subscribers to connect to free hotspots anywhere that businesses have enabled the feature. Google’s WiFi hotspots don’t require a subscription, but in the past they have been limited to Android, OS X, and Windows operating systems. While Google is far from being able to offer their Fiber service as a nationwide competitor to Comcast, Google is now able to offer the same value adds as their ISP service expands.ICOA release via TNWScreenshot of PRweb release (posted in case the page is removed):last_img

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