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Wireless Networking Hardware

Philadelphia Considering Municipal Wi-Fi 223

sebFlyte writes "The row over Muni Wi-Fi continues as cities and other municipal authorities consider building massive Wi-Fi networks to give lots of people low-cost wireless net access. CNET is running an article written by the CIO for the city of Philadelphia, explaining why she thinks it's time to break the telcos de-facto monopoly and for public agencies to start offering public services." We have previous covered Taipei's efforts along these lines to create a for-pay service
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Philadelphia Considering Municipal Wi-Fi

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  • Duplicate (Score:3, Informative)

    by enoraM ( 749327 ) * on Friday February 11, 2005 @01:24PM (#11643517)
    This has been on slashdot months ago: 8.shtml?tid=193&tid=4 []
    with a reference to the original statement from Philadelphia []
    from-the-sort-out-the-duplicates dept.
  • Not allowed? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 11, 2005 @01:26PM (#11643541)
    I thought that PA made a law banning that []?
  • Re:Duplicate (Score:5, Informative)

    by Xylaan ( 795464 ) * on Friday February 11, 2005 @01:31PM (#11643608)
    The concept is duplicate, but at the CIO letter was written yesterday, I believe this is more of an update to an ongoing story.

    Slashdot has enough actual dupes that we don't need any false positives :)
  • very hard to do... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Menotti M ( 846491 ) on Friday February 11, 2005 @01:36PM (#11643668) Homepage
    Muni-WiFi cannot work if they stick to current 802.11 technologies. WiFi was built for very small LAN deployments. As there are only 11 channels for 802.11, interference is going to pose a big problem with home users' own WiFi networks, as well as technologies that run in the 2.4 GHz band of the spectrum.

    If they choose to use a technology more suited for a WAN deployment, like the unproven WiMax, this is more of a political move than anything else. The government is trying to look like it is hip with technology and attract the tech-savvy crowd. However, such a deployment is not good for competition, as governments receive special tax-exempt status and would either take many companies out of the market completely, or lend a huge advantage who whomever the government contracts. And what happens when the technology / project goes belly up? In the normal market, companies go bankrupt. The government, however, will just throw (and waste) more money at it.

  • Re:Not allowed? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Neward Rylet ( 634838 ) on Friday February 11, 2005 @01:40PM (#11643724)
    On that same day, the City made a deal with Verizon. The headline sounds like this is uncertain, but the deal is already in place $2M has already been routed to this project by Mayor Street. All the while the transit system (SEPTA) is going bankrupt and threating to raise fairs AND cut weekend service.
  • Telco Monopoly (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 11, 2005 @01:41PM (#11643738)
    Philadelphia's move does nothing to telco monopolies. The legislation that allowed the Philly project to go forward also gives Verizon the right to veto any other city in Pennsylvania from doing the same thing.
  • by StarsAreAlsoFire ( 738726 ) on Friday February 11, 2005 @01:57PM (#11643948)
    The USPS doesn't operate on taxpayer money, except in the sence that generally the people sending letters also happen to be taxpayers.

    One more time: USPS is not tax supported.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 11, 2005 @01:58PM (#11643956)
    As there are only 11 channels for 802.11

    There aren't really 11 independent channels. There's really only 3 or 4 [] depending how much overlap you're able to tolerate.

  • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Friday February 11, 2005 @02:07PM (#11644045)
    Compare the true cost of shipping a package FedEx versus USPS. The USPS has not received any government subsidies for the last 20 years. True, the USPS pays no taxes, but then, neither does Microsoft. Where are you getting this data comparing the "true cost" of FedEx vs. USPS? Also, bear in mind that the USPS is required to deliver to EVERYONE, whereas FedEx does not deliver to remote or rural areas.
  • by Mattintosh ( 758112 ) on Friday February 11, 2005 @02:12PM (#11644129)
    His point was that since cable has a monopoly (and therefore, it's assumed that they're gouging for all they can get), it's possible for the price of satellite service to be truly "competitive" since they base their prices on the gouge-price of the cable companies. They aren't required to compete with a market that's already competitive, so they retain the un-competitive price levels of the monopoly.
  • by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <> on Friday February 11, 2005 @02:30PM (#11644377) Homepage awful lot of cities have already been doing it for a long time.

    Including my town [], which has had free WiFi covering a large portion of the city for over a year. I and I know for a fact that we aren't the only city doing this, plenty of others in the US already have simmilar setups.

    If your home WAP had been using the same channel as the city, tough cookes. Change your channel. Is it really that freaking difficult? Took me less than 30 seconds on my linksys.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 11, 2005 @04:05PM (#11645578)
    One that is arrived at by market forces not goverenment sanctioned monopolies.
  • by Yonder Way ( 603108 ) on Friday February 11, 2005 @04:10PM (#11645631)
    The CIO for the city of Philadelphia was at a meeting for Philadelphia Cares [] that I was also in attendance at. This was a technology summit on how to bridge the technology divide.

    At one point in the meeting I suggested that a grassroots effort to creat neighborhood mesh networks could be of great benefit to connecting hte neighborhoods both internally and externally. CIO asked a few questions but didn't seem to want to work with the community on it.

    I see where this is going now. Mayor Street's office gets a hold of a great idea that would cost the city very little to implement, but then turns it around to line the pockets of his inner circle. His brother Milton is already busy with a lucrative city contract so maybe it will be someone else in the mayor's family.

    But don't take my word for it. Check for yourself [].

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