The Wi-Fi at Google’s New Office Really Sucks

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Photo: NOAH BERGER / AFP (Getty Images)

Google’s new Bay View building, the first campus built by the search giant, was touted as a green, technologically advanced “canvas of creating new ways to be together” when it opened in 2022. However, employees working in the Mountain View, California building wish one of those “ways to be together” was a decent Wi-Fi connection.

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Google employees say the new building has been plagued for months with inoperable WiFi, according to a report from Reuters Thursday. The Wi-Fi is so bad that many software engineers are forced to plug ethernet cables into their laptops to do any work. The Wi-Fi issues come as Google is mandating employees return to the office for three days a week, which is upsetting to many employees who have better internet connections at home.

“You’d think the world’s leading internet company would have worked this out,” said one engineer to Reuters.

The Bay View office is home to many of Google’s AI engineers, who are working around the clock to get Gemini up and running after it was paused for its “unacceptable” image generation last month. Managers are encouraging workers to stroll outside or sit at a nearby cafe where the Wi-Fi is stronger. Some engineers were reportedly given new laptops with more powerful Wi-Fi chips.

Google’s Bay View campus features a swooping, canopy roof that looks like ocean waves. The company even wrote a 229-page book about the building – that’s longer than F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The open-concept building uses solar power, geothermal energy, and rainwater capture to integrate seamlessly into nature. Google thought of everything, except giving it a good Wi-Fi connection to actually do some work.

A Google spokesperson acknowledged the Wi-Fi connectivity issues in a statement to Reuters. The company said a fix should be coming in a few weeks.

Google does not disclose how much it spent on Bay View, though the company spent nearly $10 billion in building offices and data centers in 2022 alone. It’s likely a good chunk of that went to Bay View, but perhaps not enough went to the IT department.