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Wireless Networking United States Hardware IT

Tempe, AZ To Provide Wireless Broadband 199

jangobongo writes "City officials of Tempe, Arizona are laying claim to being the first major metropolitan area in the United States to deploy citywide wireless Internet access. MobilePro Corp. and Strix Systems have been contracted to provide a mesh network covering the entire city, which is to be in place by late summer or early fall. Downtown Tempe and the Arizona State University will have free access available, while the rest of the city will be offered monthly subscriptions ($20 for dial-up speed and $30 to $40 for high-speed wireless). Local broadband suppliers have been quiet on this, unlike elsewhere."
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Tempe, AZ To Provide Wireless Broadband

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  • Good Show (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lostie ( 772712 ) * on Friday April 29, 2005 @05:46PM (#12388167)
    This is what's needed, local councils and the government need to provide investment for both wireless and wired high-speed net access. This way, even the rural areas can get it, how long will it be before prospective buyers of your rural house start to lose interest because of no broadband in your area? It is fast becoming an essential commodity.

    And in this case, the fixed-line telcos now have some competition, which is always a good thing(tm).
  • Mexico (Score:1, Interesting)

    by hlopez ( 220083 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @05:49PM (#12388190)
    I mexico there is basically only one phone company, TELMEX. Everyone buys there dsl from them, (sure there are 2 or 3 cable providers but thats only in 3 cities.) as part of there package you can use your same user/pass while at there hotspots. This places are located everywere: malls, downtown, random streets, airports, ect. As a result you get free (all ready paid for) access to the internet almost nation wide.
  • DANG. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by iroll ( 717924 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @05:50PM (#12388192) Homepage
    Tempe is one of the best-run cities in the valley (make that THE BEST). As one of the only land-locked cities, the powers-that-be are interested in doing more than just sprawling out another patch of stripmalls and stucco houses--they're being forced to compete for business and residents by improving services and density. Yes, Daisy, competition works in government, too!

    Unfortunately, it's making housing prices go through the roof (even compared to the rest of the valley), and it's pricing some of us young urban professionals out (even though I really wanted to stay and 'vote' my support for Tempe with my feet & taxes). Hopefully some of that free wireless will make it accross the river into Phoenix, where I had to move :(
  • Wish I had it here (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nonillion ( 266505 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @05:55PM (#12388240)
    Where I live my only option is Comcast. I use my T-Mobile hotspot service (sync T-1) with my laptop but would gladly sign up for something like this. Hell is going to freeze over before I pay Comcast 49.95 a month for their restrictive take it bundled or else Internet service.
  • by Pet Doctor ( 549054 ) on Friday April 29, 2005 @06:40PM (#12388580)
    Broadband access has become increasingly essential to economic growth, health care, and education. What electric power and telephones were to the 20th Century, broadband access will be to the 21st. Towns that don't have affordable broadband lose jobs. Their children suffer a serious disadvantage in college or in the workforce, where fluency with computers and the Internet is increasingly assumed as a matter of course. Communities without broadband cannot take advantage of new breakthroughs in tel-medicine or the economic opportunities created by telecommuting. Even in crowded urban areas, the availability of broadband can vary from one neighborhood to another, stranding one neighborhood on the wrong side of the "digital divide" while two, three or even four broadband providers serve their neighbors.

    Municipalities have a valuable role to play in filing this gap. Municipalities have a long history of providing necessary services for citizens and stimulating local businesses. In the 20th century, municipalities built power plants and telephone lines when private services did not move fast enough. Our competitive power and telecoms industries today demonstrate that these services by municipalities complement private industry rather than compete with it. In addition, municipalities have a long history of spending money to benefit their citizens and encourage business development. They should have the same opportunity to offer public hot spots and broadband access.

    From 2001- 2004 the United States dropped from 4th to 13th place in global rankings of broadband Internet usage. Today, most U.S. homes can access only 'basic' broadband, among the slowest, most expensive and least reliable in the developed world. Nearly all Japanese have access to 'high-speed' broadband, with an average connection time 16 times faster than in the United States - for only about $22 a month. South Korea, which has the world's greatest percentage of broadband users, and urban China, which last year surpassed the U.S. in the number of broadband users.

    The solution is not to protect the baby bells and cable companies from competition; it is instead to encourage more competition. Communities across the country are experimenting with ways to supplement private service. And these experiments are producing unexpected economic returns. Some are discovering that free wireless access increases the value of public spaces just as street lamps do. And just as street lamps don't make other types of lighting obsolete, free wireless access in public spaces won't kill demand for access in private spaces. Yet we will never recognize these externalities unless municipalities are free to experiment.

    Source: NY Times & []

In the realm of scientific observation, luck is granted only to those who are prepared. - Louis Pasteur