Municipal WiFi – A Free Public Utility

Municipal WiFi networks (“MuniNets”) are city-wide 802.11x (b,e,g,n) (wi-fi) mesh networks that may run a median metropolis $10-15 million. Wi-fi transmitters are positioned all through the town in public right-of-ways like atop road poles, site visitors lights, and pedestrian site visitors areas. The mesh community creates a “cloth” of connectivity that permits anyone with a wi-fi system to see the community, connect to it, and, subsequently, use the Web free of chargeĀ 192.168 1 254

The state of Muni-WiFi presently appear to be this: 159 current and operational networks; 54 networks underneath development; and 78 Mini-WiFi’s underneath RFP (request for proposal). Muni-WiFi is a giant deal – some massive names are stepping into the image like Google, Microsoft, Earthlink, Cisco, and Motorola; instance – Portland, Oregon is getting their MuniNet up by the tip of 2007 by a partnership with Microsoft and an organization known as MetroFi; Google’s in San Francisco in partnership with Earthlink.

Okay, so everyone needs a chunk of the motion but when the connectivity is free, you would possibly marvel, “er-what motion”? Nicely, in Portland, MetroFi will push banner adverts on the prime of the browser free of charge connectivity, and in order for you connectivity with no adverts, that’d be a cool $20/month paid to the native municipality, please.

Consider it: a free, public area scorching spot the dimensions of downtown.

In case you’re into discovering distinctive methods to fund metropolis authorities, that is trying fairly compelling: abruptly you are an ISP and able to straight competing with native teleco’s, LEC’s, and ISP’s. You have received financial system of scale in your aspect – a literal metropolis of interconnected customers – and a bunch of advertisers salivating over a gentle stream of narrow-targeted adverts to WiFi homeowners.

Then again, for those who’re not about open companies and are into personal enterprise, the explosion of “MuniNets” should look fairly scary. Suppose how LEC’s and ISP’s are going to seek out it even more durable to compete towards a public utility. Additional, consider the entire investments made by 1000’s of people and companies to setup their very own hotspots all through city – key to their technique to draw and retain clients, now folks can wifi wherever they need they usually do not have to be sipping your espresso.

And for those who’re a expertise service supplier, you have to be in a downright panic. No extra wifi routers to configure inside the dwelling or workplace; no extra issues with privateness and safety; no extra threatening scare ways about who could also be sniffing your wi-fi packets. Why? Connectivity on a “MuniNet” is professionally managed and out there from the road… similar to water. Crap – there goes subsequent 12 months’s marketing strategy.

There’s quite a lot of threat right here, although. MuniNet’s are being applied with present requirements of wifi that do not maintain a candle to the subsequent technology of expertise – 802.16 WiFiMax: 75mbps throughput in a 30-mile radius working at 2.5-2.7ghz. Suppliers of this expertise would possibly have the ability to leapfrog the MuniNet and faucet proper into suburban areas which are past the municipal attain, rendering the MuniNet out of date.

Regardless, the writing’s on the wall: WiFi as a utility is right here. In case you’re not getting ready for a mass shopper exodus from privatized companies like cable, xDSL, or ISP’s to a virtually costless public utility, or, if your online business is determined by any of these companies (like router and software program gross sales, service and assist relationships, set up and deployments), or, for those who’re not planning on tips on how to leverage free bandwidth to decrease your individual working bills, ouch – it may depart a mark after it whacks you upside the top subsequent 12 months.

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