Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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WiFi for Small Towns

August 9th, 2004 · 4 Comments

Glenn Fleishman point to The Seattle Times, which writes about Maverick Wireless, which “builds citywide Wi-Fi networks in areas with fewer than 50,000 residents.”

How it works: Maverick partners with a utility district or a city, which pays for the infrastructure, including laying fiber and installing access points on utility poles. Maverick then handles customer support. Or Maverick can pay for the infrastructure and provide customer support.

Not free: To access the system, users subscribe at prices that start at $24.95 a month for speeds of 120 kilobits per second, or two times as fast as dial-up. For 1 megabit per second, they pay $59.95 a month.

Little-known fact: Schmelke said there is the common misconception that Wi-Fi is only accessible about 200 to 300 feet from an access point. But the right equipment, he said, can reach as far as four miles, making citywide deployments easier. Still, Maverick doesn’t deploy to every inch of a city, but rather the densest parts.

Biggest concern: Security. Schmelke said Maverick tackles the issue by installing software on each user’s computer, using 256-bit encryption and passwords.

Interesting ideas for what India needs in its towns and cities.

Tags: Telecom

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