Google has bought an operator of Wi-Fi hotspots in high-traffic locations such as airports, hotels and fast-food restaurants.
Google Inc. is paying $400 million for ICOA Inc., a Warwick, R.I., company, as part of the search company’s efforts to diversify its portfolio.
ICOA owns or operates Wi-Fi wireless access services in 40 states. It also sells technology for others to run similar Wi-Fi networks under their own brands.
It’s not Google’s first venture into Internet access. The Mountain View, Calif., company is building an ultra-fast wired Internet service in Kansas City, primarily to showcase for what’s technically possible and to test new ways to use the Internet.