The New York Times writes about internet access “delivered from above”:
TowerStream is the most active player in an emerging industry that sells a technology known as WiMax, or worldwide interoperability for microwave access. Unlike WiFi, the radio wave technology in airports and cafes that allows users to log on to the Internet from their laptop computers within 150 feet of an antenna, WiMax delivers broadband Internet connections through fixed antennas that send and receive signals across entire cities.
Using the most powerful equipment, a single antenna atop a tall building can provide high-speed data transmission to users as far as 30 miles away, although the optimal range is less than half of that. The radio signals and antennas are unaffected by bad weather and provide an alternative to data cables that are sunk below sidewalks and can accidentally be cut by construction crews.
The price is another advantage of the system. TowerStream charges $500 a month for a 1.54-megabits-a-second connection, about one-third to one-half less than the cost of service on comparable T1 lines that phone companies sell to businesses for data transmission. TowerStream can charge less because it does not have to rent connections from Verizon or another former Bell company that runs local switching stations.