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Silicon Valley Can't Afford Wireless Network
Investors find the plan too shaky to support
by KathrynV 12:26PM Sunday Nov 04 2007
Silicon Valley has been working for nearly two years to roll out an ambitious Wi-Fi plan covering the entire area under one system. They recently faced additional delays due to the complexity of the rollout but predicted that they would have a model for the system in place before the end of the year. The end of the year is coming up quickly and it looks like they’re no closer to making this a reality than they have been in the past. The problem, of course, is money. Investors aren’t willing to foot the $500,000 bill for pilot testing. The system just has so many flaws that it’s considered too risky of an investment.
quote:
“Wireless Silicon Valley has no clear leader and a fuzzy long-term business model. Azulstar has a spotty track record as a network operator. Local public safety agencies - the cash cow for municipal networks - are skeptical. And no one has ever attempted to build a WiFi network on such a vast scale, covering more than 40 municipalities.”
Cisco is the only company willing to contribute money to the project at this time. Without additional support, it’s unlikely that it’s going to be able to move forward. Will the Bay Area find that it is sufficiently covered by independently-offered free Wi-Fi (such as that offered by Metro-Fi and Google Wi-Fi)? Or will a push come for Silicon Valley to work out its original plan?

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FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

WiFi poor choice for such a wide area

The Silicon Valley coalition should be evaluating how they can get assistance implementing a mobile Wimax rollout. Encouraging private companies like Clearwire and Sprint by removing regulatory hurdles to implementation may be a better route to take.

wifi_friend

@sbcglobal.net

Re: WiFi poor choice for such a wide area

wimax is named incorrectly. It should be named wipay. The carriers want wimax because they can control it and charge for it. Me, I like scenarios where I dont pay, pay, pay.

viperm
Carpe Diem
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Winchester, CA

Re: WiFi poor choice for such a wide area

Wimax is not the end all be all to wireless it is not much different then regular Wifi its just more routing changed then anything.

These consultants who want millions for testing are on CRACK!!!! Everyone has grandious ideas of building it big right up front. You need to start a small pilot then grow from there. Proof of concept is where you need to focus your energy and prove to them that it does work with the correct equipment. This whole let the ISP pay for it or get manufacturers to pay for it all is NOT going to work.

The correct and most sensible model is if EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE has skin in the game to contribute to the project.

Peace!
--
ComTrain Certified Tower Climber. American Tower Certified approved contractor

wifi_friend

@googlewifi.com

Re: WiFi poor choice for such a wide area

I spend 40 hours a week in the wifi world. I do not disagree with you at all. The muni model needs to be more organic. Build it small, build it out. The large scale roll out concept for wifi appears to be flawed. Put the wifi roll-out into the hands of the community at an organic level. Get the subscribers involved. Subscribers are the people, the small businesses, and the local governments. As the subscriber base comes online and makes it profitable, you roll it out.

Burger King didn't start with a Zillion stores. They got a core going, built it out. When that was profitable, they rolled it out some more.

I guess this is a wordy way of saying that I agree.

wifi_fan

@sbcglobal.net

wireless

I love this!!!!! A positive article is published and it rarely(ever?) gets carried to other websites or media presenters. A negative article and everyone carries it.

This article is an edit from a newspaper in Silicon Valley that published a few hours ago.

The enemies of wifi are delighted. If we can crush wifi then the public will have to pay for it from us. Media companies know this as well. When wifi goes in it threatens a lot of powerful entities who fear something they cant control, and hate something they cant charge for.

Who loses in the end... we do.... pay, pay, pay
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: wireless

WiFi has its place but city-wide coverage is not one of them. With a 300' radius, any attempt to use it for city coverage is worthy of harsh criticism. WiFi is just not feasible and cities are getting suckered into it.

If cities are willing to subsidize WiFi, they could subsidize WiMAX. They could setup a code with Sprint/Cleawire that gives residents access in some limited form, but better than what WiFi can offer.

There is no such thing as free WiFi. Someone is paying for it.

wifi_friend

@sbcglobal.net

Re: wireless

"With a 300 foot range" Your kidding right? Please don't spread false information. Wifi can operate up to 1500 feet from an access point. A more preferred range is under
eight hundred feet.

Wimax is a LICENSED band. It is less free then wifi. The carriers want us all to believe it is the wave of the future because they can license it, sell it, and control it. Wimax is unproven. Wimax is a rounding error in installation and support compared to wifi.

City wide wifi is feasible. Just ask the rest of the world. The rest of the world is a bright light of wifi. America is a dark hole.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

Re: wireless

300' is the effective range for most devices, the APs might do more but the end device ability is what matters. Even so, 1500' is not much compared to several miles for WiMAX.

There is an unlicensed version of WiMAX coming that could also be used but we'll see licensed first.

Even so, cities are paying ISPs such as ATT to build out muni-WiFi and have contracts to support it. Why not pay a WiMAX provider instead and give free accounts to tax payers? Today you can't buy a laptop w/out WiFi. In a year or so, you may not be able to buy a laptop w/out WiFi/WiMAX built in.

WiMAX is also not exactly a new tech. It's an extension and improvement to 3G, which has already proven itself. EVDO is clearly better than WiFi to anyone who has used it. WiMAX will be better than EVDO. No need to look for WiFi hotspots, which can vary in reliability.