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The Google Station wifi project began in rail stations in India. Photo: Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images

Ruckus Networks, which makes wireless hardware and software, said on Tuesday that it was providing equipment for a Google effort aimed at expanding wifi access in Mexico, India and Indonesia.

Why it matters: Big companies in Silicon Valley recognize that to continue to grow, they need to bring customers online who didn't have access before. That's led to sometimes controversial efforts aimed at emerging markets.

What they're saying: Ruckus is working with Google on its Station project, which has created free wifi hotspots in public places in India, Mexico and Indonesia.

  • "It has to work flawlessly and it has to deliver the same quality of service that you or I expect when streaming high definition video in our homes," said Bart Giordano, a Ruckus vice president.
  • He also said that providers have to "streamline" the model for deploying broadband infrastructure to get it built quickly at a large scale.

The bottom line: Keep looking for these initiatives from internet companies to connect users who don't have network service, or who want to surf the web beyond a limited data plan. Without fast broadband service, these customers won't expand the companies' user base.

Go deeper

Battle for the soul of a new web

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A well-funded and intensely motivated chunk of tech's hive mind is finding common cause in a vast new project: rebuilding the web on a foundation of cryptocurrency and blockchain tech. They call it "Web3."

The big picture: Developers, investors and early adopters imagine a future in which the technologies that enable Bitcoin and Ethereum will break up the concentrated power today's tech giants wield and usher in a golden age of individual empowerment and entrepreneurial freedom.

First look: Biden summons top CEOs on supply chain

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Biden will meet Monday afternoon with CEOs of big retailers, grocers and consumer-products firms to send this message, according to the White House: Products will be on shelves for holiday shopping.

Zoom out: Black Friday sales rebounded from 2020.

Thanksgiving box office shows theaters have long road to recovery

Photo of Disney's "Encanto;" Credit: Disney

Box office ticket sales over the Thanksgiving holiday show that consumer confidence in moviegoing is slowly improving, but not enough to bring the struggling theater industry back to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon, if ever.

Why it matters: "We may have to temper expectations a bit" for next year, said Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.