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Wireless Networking The Internet Hardware

The State of Urban Wireless 70

mcabiling writes "Julian Priest has released an excellent study on the development of wireless broadband in London. The study analyzes freenetworks versus commercial hotspot services and home wifi usage. The paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license so you can also pick up from there and cover your city. There is one for Paris in the works. Does anyone have any other similar studies of wireless cities ?"
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The State of Urban Wireless

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  • Dublin, Ireland. Pop 1.3m

    Free Hotspots: 0
    Commercial Hotspots: ~10

    Come to Ireland! Escape microwave cancer!
    Oh wait..

    Ireland pop ~4m. Mobile phones ~3.5m
    • Welcome to Woodland California-

      # of hotspots- ???

      But just drive by my house and you can get 3mb down 1mb up...due to the fact that a piece of crap Linksys wireless game connector wouldn't let me change the SSID from 'Linksys'.

      The router is the garage, so you should do fine from the street.
      • Heh, at least you had an excuse beyond being plain clueless.

        Welcome to Nederland, Colorado ....

        Population: 1500

        # Hotspots found in a 1 hour netstumbler session with a built-in (read: not very sensitive and very directional) antenna: 21

        # Hotspots total: Unknown but I would guess over 40 if you count the ones who disabled SSID broadcast and who live in the 2 divisions I didn't drive through. If I'm right, that is approximately 1 AP for every 38 people ...

        # Hotspots found broadcasting DHCP and NAT'ing to
  • by Motherfucking Shit ( 636021 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @09:42AM (#9419245) Journal
    The paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license so you can also pick up from there and cover your city.
    In other words, mi CCASA es su CCASA?
  • Netstumbler (Score:4, Informative)

    by swordboy ( 472941 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @09:43AM (#9419255) Journal
    NetStumbler [] has had GPS-WiFi mapping for some time now. This is not new.
  • Paris? (Score:2, Funny)

    by JemVai777 ( 411658 )
    Isn't covering her up too late now?
  • New Study.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by StacyWebb ( 780561 )
    the /. effect on london servers. (7 posts and the site has been /.ed)
    • 7 posts and the site has been /.ed

      Welcome. You arrived late at the party. After 3 posts it was already gone.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      London servers falling down...
      falling down...
      falling down...
  • Google Cache (Score:4, Informative)

    by zgornz ( 318679 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @09:51AM (#9419328)
    Google Cache []
    /.'ed already!? *Sigh* Why doesn't slashdot mirror what it posts...
  • Jerusalem (Score:3, Informative)

    by Zachary Kessin ( 1372 ) <> on Monday June 14, 2004 @09:52AM (#9419334) Homepage Journal
    I know of at least 1 hot spot in Jerusalem, "Caffit" on Rehov Emek Rafaim in the German colony. To bad its a resturant I really don't like. I think the King David hotel has wireless but its not free.

    I would love to know of more in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
    • Re:Jerusalem (Score:3, Informative)

      by yoz ( 3735 )
      When I went over to Jerusalem in November with a friend of mine we picked up an open node while standing in Kikar Tzion (Zion Square) - it was on the corner closest to that little side road that runs down towards the park, I can't remember the name. (Opposite side to Ben Yehuda)

      Said friend of mine was quite keen on netstumbling during that trip... continually walking around with a laptop open on top of the baby buggy containing her daughter!

      If you can afford to fly King David class on El-Al, the KD Lounge
      • Cool, I've yet to really try that. The only reason that I know about that one hot spot is that they had a sign out. Actually my laptop needs to be taken in for repairs. I don't see the point of a wireless card in my desktop.
  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:07AM (#9419465)
    An associated Press article [] questions the commercial viability of WiFi in the U.S. Said one company that recently left the business after building only one hot spot, "Management believes that only Wi-Fi equipment manufacturers are currently successful in generating profits in the Wi-Fi industry, and service providers have yet to develop a profitable business model," With the ubiquity of computers in business, the modest price of broadband, and the very low price of WAPs, it seems that more people and businesses are simply giving WiFi away, leaving service providers with no profits.
    • I think the parent post addressed profitability more than viability. If no business would let customers use the restroom. I'm sure the pay toilet business would grow. But I don't hear anyone complaining that toilet (or bidet for our European friends) makers are making money while bathroom providers have been driven out of business.
  • Will the US learn? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I hope people in the US read this and learn about it. It seems like our networks are already becoming so mushed together that you have to check some wifi hot spot website every time before you go somewhere.

    This overlapping seems like a fairly decent idea but considering alot of networks already require you to either register or prepay before using, it seems unlikely that they would want to "team up" for free wifi.
  • A wireless grid of open hotspots...

    To be found on

  • NYC Wireless (Score:5, Informative)

    by mojoNYC ( 595906 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:09AM (#9419487) Homepage
    i can't say enough good things about [] these guys have done an amazing job at building up a free as in beer wireless network all around New York City--take a look at the coverage map...Starbucks? hah!
  • by Randar the Lava Liza ( 562063 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:09AM (#9419492) Homepage
    Check out NYC Wireless [] for a pretty comprehensive map of wifi hubs. And these are just the reported ones! There's some serious coverage in our fair city...
  • Korea (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Daengbo ( 523424 )
    I just recently moved to Korea, and one of the stats I've heard from the gov't is that greatest rate of per capita wireless availablilty,
  • Austin hotspot (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bassmastergeneral ( 675271 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:12AM (#9419518) Homepage
    The Austin Chronicle [] has a nice story on austin's free hotspots setup by, [], austinfree []
    There seems to be a rather large push for free hotspots in Austin, TX. Its quite noticable that starbucks and TMobile have about the only pay hotspot in town. Its popping up in the strangest of places, for instance the dog and duck pub [] now offers wireless.
    • >>for instance the dog and duck pub now offers wireless

      Not only free wifi, $3.50 pints of guinness - why weren't these articles posted last week, _before_ my visit to austin...
    • I live in Austin, and was pleased to read that we're going to see free wireless in new locations. And I don't mean more restaurants and pubs, but also in some of the local parks and public areas. I don't have any references to cite, but I recently read that Schlotzsky's [] (local sandwich shop that has offered free wireless access to customers for several years) has teamed up to set up wireless access in some of the parks near the downtown area. This might move beyond the downtown parks to include other loc
  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:20AM (#9419605)
    The June 8,2004, Wall Street Journal carried an article on "Airports Clash With Airlines Over Wi-Fi"(sorry, I don't have a link). Airlines want to use Wifi for both customer lounges and for wireless IT services -- think wireless data terminals for scanning and tracking baggage. But the airport terminal operators claim they own the airwaves and have the right control and sell wifi access.

    This could impact regulation of WiFi in the U.S. As the article pointed out: If the FCC takes action, it could have broader implications for Wi-Fi's dissemination. That's because the airlines are asking the FCC a crucial question: whether a landlord has the right to bar tenants from setting up individual Wi-Fi networks. "This is about landlord-tenant rights and whether a landlord can dictate to a tenant how you use unlicensed frequencies," says Laura Smith, president of the Industrial Telecommunications Association, which has asked the FCC for guidance on behalf of the airlines.

    I wonder if other building owners will outlaw tenant's wifi setups in favor of selling access to a landowner-run wifi networ.
    • I hope this gets laughed out. The whole point of unlicensed frequency is to let the public enjoy it's benefit in any way they can. Dumber things have been attempted. The greedheads are very clever to use the highly regulated airport environment to make case and have a chance of getting anywhere. Airports will have a good starting point for future propaganda that turns today's common sense on it's head. The thing to remember is that the public owns the spectrum, not government agencies, commercial broad
    • Well one difference with this is that in theory the airport has a contractual relationship with the airlines. In theory they can put a clause about WiFi in that contract. Of course they may not have thought of it at the right time.
  • Bluetooth Hotspots? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dschuetz ( 10924 ) <david@d a s> on Monday June 14, 2004 @10:33AM (#9419729)
    I don't own a laptop, but I do own a Palm Tungsten T3 with built-in bluetooth, and I've found recently that I wished hotspots spoke Bluetooth. Has anyone started seriously deploying public (free or pay) hotspots with BT?

    I'd think that all the bluetooth-enabled phones out there would be a natural target for this kind of service, where people could get internet surfing for cheaper than the on-air data rates the cell phone companies charge.

    Or are their technical reasons why this won't work in practice? I really don't want to wait for the next Tungsten rev (4? 5? 6?) to finally build-in 802.11.... (and I have no interest in filling my *1* slot with a wifi card, esp. if it's got an externally-protruding antenna).

    • by Jahf ( 21968 )
      Bluetooth range is purposefully very short. Generally speaking more than 6' away and you're going to lose connection with most devices. Remember that it was meant to be a personal network protocol.

      I'm sure with boosted signals you could broadcast -to- other Bluetooth devices over far greater distances, but don't forget that those devices have to transmit -back- to the signal source. It doesn't do much good to have a 1-way network connection (works for headphones, not for bi-directional data).

      Also remember
  • i hate verizon... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mattkime ( 8466 ) on Monday June 14, 2004 @11:02AM (#9420008)
    you know what sucks? someone putting up a commercial hotspot near your home or office. nyc is so dense to begin with, and now we have networks penetrating each other's walls. verizon is putting WiFi spots around the city - but only their own customers can use them. the 802.11b/g frequency range is limited - a couple people in one area setting up their own wifi networks quickly causes problems. luckily, i've only run into this at work, otherwise verizon would be having trouble keeping aluminum foil off a nearby hotspot.
  • And don't forget that the World Wide War Drive 4 [] is currently running, from June 12th to 19th. WiGLE [] is doing file parsing and real-time stats and maps. WiGLE is the largest worldwide database of gps located wireless access points (currently at 1,214,408).
  • Navini networks (Score:2, Interesting)

    by p0 ( 740290 )
    We have a NLOS setup running with Navini Networks []. However technically advanced or challenging the implementation is, customers are not willing to accept interruptions to their feed. In a nlos implementation as such, the service totally depends on the multipath signals, and we have found out to be most annoying to the customers are, the varying 'strong' spots. Technically, these are caused by changes to the surroundings (reflection path), weather and the antenna power. These can be acceptable to someone wit
  • We've seen many urban wifi networks setup in Europe and the US, but what about Canada?

    Wifi hotspots (Intentional or not, hehe) are pretty common in Edmonton [] and Calgary. Now we just needs some of these access points linked together.
  • Our little metropolis down here in Adelaide, Australia, has had a publically accessible Wireless network setup called Citilan [] for about a year now. It runs on 802.11b and it covers most of Adelaide CBD and some outer suburbs. I love it. Sunny day, sitting down by the river, notebook in front of me and working away through via the VPN. It's fantastic. Beats an office hands down!
  • Portland, Oregon (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Fanglord ( 447376 )
    The Personal Telco Project [] in Portland, Oregon, is setting up free internet access points all over town (mostly in coffee shops), and invites home users to open their networks up, as well. There was a writeup [] about it in the most recent Willamette Week (weekly alternative newspaper based in Portland).
  • I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention the first time I read the post, and I thought I saw "Judas Priest has released..."
  • Rated by Intel (whose research headquarters is in the metro area) as the most unwired city in America. Personal telco ( has over 100 hotspots around the city, with a lot of cool cafes hooked up (free service, of course).

    Also, there is the fact that Linus Torvalds is moving to Portland soon - he just bought a house here.

    Guess it's going to be Portland vs. Seattle pretty soon! Can't wait to see the bombs falling soon!
  • I know someplace in Arizona which is wireless. Wireless, waterless, bathroomless, phoneless....

    (From someone who just got back from a trip where he was reminded what "Communing with Nature" is really all about!) :-)

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