[CUWiN] Slate on community wireless networks

Sascha Meinrath sascha at ucimc.org
Tue Sep 14 14:27:54 CDT 2004

On Tue, 14 Sep 2004, Paul Smith wrote:

> http://slate.msn.com/id/2106657/
> I'm composing a response to Paul emphasizing emerging spectrum 
> management methods that mitigate interference.

This is a pretty shoddy piece of work.  I wonder how much of it was 
written in consultation with Ron Resnick of the WiMax Forum and where 
they're getting their information on Wi-Fi capabilities (since they are 
clearly incorrect -- CUWiN has multiple links that are way over 300 feet 
and can make solid links through trees of several hundred meters before 
things become marginal).  I do agree that city-wide WiFi systems won't be 
"free", but they'll be "free to the end-users" if they're municipally 
supported (thus helping to eliminate the digital divide and allowing _all_ 
users to get online, not just the priviledged few who can afford it).

More importantly, the cost of municipally-funded networks are an order of 
magnitude less than the profit-driven business models that Paul Boutin 
supports.  In addition, drawing up a false dichotomy, "there will soon be 
two options for wireless -- spotty coverage that's free or a strong signal 
that could cost as much as your cell phone plan" completely ignores the 
fact (which we've all seen or personally experienced) that cell phone 
signals are themselves quite spotty -- the real breakdown is between 
low-cost wireless networks and high-cost wireless networks, both of which 
can be spotty or good depending on how well they're built.  Finally, Paul 
Boutin completely ignores the possibility that parts of the Public 
Airwaves should be made available by the FCC to provide a leve playing 
field between major telecomm companies and Community Wireless Networks. 
Given that the Public Airwaves exist to serve _the public_ -- it is 
logical that municipally-supported networks have access to them in order 
to build networks that serve the public.


Sascha Meinrath
Project Manager & Pres.  *  Project Coordinator  *  Project Manager
Acorn Worker Collective *** CU Wireless Network *** Eggplant Active Media
www.acorncollective.com  *  www.cuwireless.net   *  www.eggplantmedia.com

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