The Strategic WIFI Access Point

Last week's announcement of the Google's OnHub wireless router may seem silly— after all, what is a company who is fighting the spectre of privacy violations doing launching a super premium wifi router ($200) into a commodity market?

This is obviously all about getting people to consume more and better Internet. Given the advantage that Google has so long as the platform of choice remains the Web (and not native apps where flakey wireless can be managed more gracefully by the app developer), this notion of controlling the "last 50 feet" and delivering a great experience starts to make sense.

On top of it, the Access Point (AP) is super strategic for all sorts of new applications that run the gamut from IoT devices without interfaces to intelligent WIFI offload of what might traditionally be considered the realm of cellular traffic. The company's Project Fi already points to the ambitions they have there of becoming a sort of "super MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator)" where they can deliver faster and more reliable Internet service than typical smartphone plans at lower prices.

I'm not sure at $200 this will gain meaningful traction, especially as other companies fighting for the home (the broadband companies and Apple) come to realize how strategic the home AP and start subsidizing it can be but if it can be brought down in price over time (while delivering a 10X better experince for people fighting flakey cheap APs being increasingly overwhelmed) it is definitely worth the shot.