Minneapolis: Citywide Wi-Fi Success Story
95% of the city to be connected by March 11th
by KathrynV 12:43PM Saturday Feb 23 2008
The news about citywide Wi-Fi in major cities tends to be bad. Philadelphia
continues to wait on word from Earthlink about its plans before it can move forward. San Francisco
, once a leader in this area, hasn’t made headlines (or headway) in months. And the only success stories we see seem to be in small towns. However, Minneapolis hopes to change all that when its municipal wireless system
goes live on March 11th
Parts of the city have been receiving wireless service for months as the city has worked on rolling out the network in a six-phase plan. The last of those phases will be complete in a couple of weeks, at which time 95% of Minneapolis will be connected. There have been some complaints that the city and its wireless provider haven’t provided enough updates to citizens. Additional complaints come from those “challenge areas” that are having a hard time getting connected.
However, over 8,000 residents have signed up for the service. It is being offered at three different speeds – 1 Mbps @ $20 / month, 3 Mbps @ $30 / month and 6 Mbps @ $35 / month. Unfortunately not all of the state’s municipal projects are going so well; smaller towns
surrounding Minneapolis have faced ongoing problems trying to get their networks set up.
Glen Carbon, IL
Re: What Good Is It?
said by WeSRT4:Of course! I can't believe I didn't think of that very obvious thing.
It's wireless! You can use it throughout the city instead of being fixed to one location.
Personally, if I wanted broadband on a laptop I'd use EVDO Rev. A through Sprint. I know their customer service is bad but at least they don't have caps on their EVDO. I'd also be able to use it in most other cities as well.
| |said by Ben:Qwest. They don't even seem to try anymore around here...
The prices quoted sound just good enough to compete with DSL.
Who's the telco there?
Re: Can't call it a success yet
said by xenophon:Good points, but the "300 foot" concept was absolutely just an estimate, and is really a diameter measure. You can push Wi-Fi using high-gain omni outdoor 1,000 feet or more without obstructions.
Since it won't go fully live until March, it's too early to call it a success. WiFi in not intended to work beyond 300' and is not the right solution for city-wide service. ...
EVDO and WiMAX are much better solutions for city-wide access. It's designed for it.
Cities may as well fund WiMAX providers, or at least offer telephone poles.
EVDO isn't a better solution: too limited by spectrum (despite Wi-Fi's obvious spectrum limits, too). WiMax makes more sense, but both EVDO and WiMax are controlled by those that own the frequencies. That's what made Wi-Fi appealing.
Re: Can't call it a success yet
said by xenophon:Yep. Thats why something called "wireless bridges" are sold. Basically either a high tx power and possibly high receiver sensitivity USB wifi adapter with 5 inch omni, or a router style box ment to be placed close to a window/outside wall again with big omni and high tx power. The router approach backhauls through wired ethernet to a customer's router or computer, or it creates a private wifi network for the customer inside their home whose internet comes through the public wifi network.
However the end user device would also need to be more powerful, wouldn't it?