I said it...about Google!
I said it blatantly in a post a year and a half ago that "Nobody is as well-positioned to benefit from the proliferation of the internet like Google is." Google's decision to provide free WiFi to one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in the US seems to be proof of that.
Many businesses make a profit DESPITE providing free internet access to consumers. Google will probably be the first (if they aren't already) to make more money BECAUSE they provide free internet access to consumers.
It's like a car dealership knowing of someone who wants to buy a car (and can afford to make regular car payments). They could probably afford to pick that person up at his home and chauffeur-drive him to their lot to see their latest selection.
Other businesses are able to provide that free ride to that car dealership BUT they don't sell cars. They're hoping that while that person is driving off the lot in his brand new car, he notices their concession stand.
The car payments can be likened to our time and attention while the concession stand purchase can be likened to monetary expenditure.
The good news is that we'll all have free internet someday. Well by 'free' I'm referring to the ad-laden or ad-propelled version of the word. The same way radio and TV is 'free'.
Google is proof that time is more precious than cash.