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Google’s Wireless Network – Oops!

One day a year the notoriously reticent top Google executives invite journalists to their Mountain View, Calif., campus to discuss the company’s products and strategy, and to answer what ideally will be probing questions.

However, on this much anticipated day, Wednesday, the Google wireless network wasn’t working for group of about 100 journalists, many of whom were expecting to file stories remotely from the event. This is from a story in cNet’s Google Blog.

A red-faced but jocular Elliot Schrage, vice president of global communications and public affairs, said: “For example, we know the wireless doesn’t work and we are fixing it.”

Following presentations from Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, Alan Eustace, the senior vice president of engineering, and a panel of executives who talked about international operations, Schrage told the crowd that the wireless problem had still not been fixed.

We had to turn off the entire wireless network” for the campus, he said, obviously uncomfortable in his role as bearer of bad news.

Elinor Mills from news.com was able to file her blog entry and a story on the opening presentations using a Sprint cellular card in a laptop, but many others were not as lucky. One reporter desperately trying to file a story during a break was even kicked off an Internet kiosk the company offers visitors for Web browsing.

Elinor says what we all were thinking:

Let’s hope this doesn’t foreshadow the service people will get now that San Francisco officials have chosen Google and its partner EarthLink to build a Wi-Fi network throughout the city.

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