Archive for February, 2010

City Wide Wi-Fi.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010
posted by raheema

Here we are in 2010 fashion changes everyday, technology is changing everyday for some, family dynamics are changing everyday…. do any of us know where we are heading? Well, I thought by the time I was a mom I would know it all…. besides convincing my kids that I have eyes in the back of my head (to catch them when they are up to their daily mischief) I don’t know nearly as much as I thought I would at 32.  The other day, I had a dream about Wi-Fi… well… to  be honest,  it was really a dream about vacationing… in a city that had ‘City wide Wi-Fi’… so the next morning I decided to Google it.  To my surprise it already exists in many places…. and is in testing mode in many others!  The fact that I didn’t know about this made me think I need to stop watching TVO Kids and turn on the news more often!

Chaska, Minnesota was a pilot city to have City Wide Wi-Fi.  It took numerous years of planning and funding but was successful.  Of course it was easier to pilot a small town compared to a giant city like New York… however, New York is now on board too and the city is looking to build their own networks to lead into this project.

San Francisco, Philadelphia, Toronto are some of the North American cities who either have City Wide Wi-Fi or are looking at deploying it in the near future.

Whenever we talk about something government run, people always wonder -’How much is this going to cost me?  Are my taxes going to increase?’ – I know us Canadians think about things like this all the time!  Some cities are digging up streets to run fiber-optic lines directly to every home and business, which will increase broadband capacities well beyond those available from cable-modem and DSL service today.   But these networks are very expensive to build, and many communities are looking at lower-cost, wireless technology instead. While it would cost about $2,000 to $3,000 per household to run fiber, wireless can be deployed for about $20 to $25 per household.

Having projects like this will also bring in tourism, especially for conventions and trade shows.  It will create employment, something that North American’s are surly looking for.  It will allow those in low-income households to connect to the Internet either at no cost of very minimal costs.  It will allows us to stay in touch and always be connected.

What  would your monthly costs be?  It depends on what the network charges are… but after some research I am finding that the costs are not that high.  Much less than a portable Internet device or USB Stick that will allow Internet access. Below are a few examples of direct monthly costs.

Swindon, UK -

  • covers approx. 200 km
  • approx $16 CAD per month for unlimited access
  • free connection to the internet,
  • free line rental and connection charge
  • usage will be limited
  • pay as you go options will also be available for visitors

Pune, India

  • covers approx. 400 km
  • less than $10 CAD a month.

Taipei, Taiwan

  • covers approx 170 km, with over 3300 access points accross the city
  • costs approx $12  CAD to connect

Places like Africa and India are loving this idea because there is very little infrastructure to support Cable and DSL Internet, however, Wireless Internet can take their citizens to an online world they could only imagined to be a part of otherwise.  As you all know from previous blogs, I don’t like wires, I like wireless… I don’t necessarily understand all the technology behind it… but slowly and surly with Google and my own in-house IT consultant, I am  getting there… I like the idea of city wide Wi-Fi!

As I say goodbye to you all today, I would like to say WWWelcome WiFi!

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