In the first week of September 2019, Techpoint discovered that Google Station had stopped functioning in the University of Lagos (Unilag).
Reports say this happened as far back as July.
Further investigations show that apart from Unilag, two other primary Google Station locations in Lagos — Ikeja City Mall (ICM) and the Computer Village — are offline.
Google Station, Google’s free Wi-Fi initiative that delivers free Internet access in select locations, launched last year in Nigeria, with Lagos and Abuja its primary locations. More than a year later, Lagos is seemingly offline on the programme.
In all locations where Google Station is offline, other free Wi-Fi services are working. Some of them include Express Wi-Fi by Facebook and SANWO FREE WIFI deployed by present Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu during his campaign in December.
In Computer Village and ICM, store owners and workers say they do not know why it stopped working. Unilag students theorise that the power generating sets powering the Wi-Fi routers in their school blew up.
Techpoint could not confirm if this was a regulatory issue.
In March 2019, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) tagged Google Station illegal in what seemed like a misunderstanding.
It is unknown if the issue has been clarified to date. Google did not respond to questions on why the service is currently down, what measures are being taken to restore it, and when exactly it is expected to be back up.
However, the Internet company said it was aware of the situation.
“We apologise that Google Station cannot be accessed at some locations in Lagos at this time. We are working on it, and will bring them back as soon as possible,” a spokesperson for the Internet company wrote in an email to Techpoint.
Apart from Lagos, Techpoint can confirm that Abuja is still online as Wuse Market, Banex Plaza, and Emab Plaza — all primary locations activated in Abuja — still have functional Google Station services.