Information on usage numbers of Municipal WiFi networks are extremely hard to come by. Operators and municipalities are eager to publish network coverage, money invested and projected benefits but very few information is available once the network is deployed and operational.
So it great to see Google publishing some info on their Mountain View network. I’ll quote the essential numbers but you can read more about it here
– Google reported that the network now covers 12 square miles and counts 15,000 unique users each month.
– The company said its free muni Wi-Fi network comprises over 400 mesh routers and carries 300 gigabytes of data each day.
– The company said the network has seen traffic numbers grow around 10% each month.
While these figures are interesting and shed a small bit of light on the viability of the network I would really like to see information on the average session lenght per user, the increase (or decrease in users), the advertising revenue, usage by protocol (http, pop3, smtp, voip etc.). It would be great if Google could provide these.
What’s also interesting is the calculations on average useage that can be made form these numbers. On average there seem to be 493 unique users per day, which means (on average) 1.2 user per router resulting in 0.6GB of data transfer per user. This would lead one to conclude that usage is relatively light and limited to email and some (light) browsing. It seems that there are no people leeching large amounts of data through the network. This would lead me to believe that the user demographic is largely mobile rather than residential.
P.S. See here for a map of all routers.