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ShermanT
09-03-2006, 04:08 PM
This story has gotten me thinking: Toronto Hydro assailed for city-wide WiFi plan (http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=7e164a22-6c55-4800-94a9-6d9012f78e46)

Is there a reason why Edmonton couldn't do something similar? I gotta be honest, my "Great Idea" is really a selfish one, but I have always dreamed of Edmonton having city wide wireless. Every time I go shopping, or looking for an address, or use my cell phone I think "if i had wireless internet these would be easier/better/cheaper".

Pros:

business/employee attraction tool
give broadband another bit of competition
improve city image
Other Pros?


Cons:

Expensive to maintain
Current broadband providers might have something to say about this...
Someone has to foot the bill..
Other Cons?


What does everyone think?


MOD EDIT...

I moved this here as I think this idea shouldn't get lost and needs to be re-introduced. Ceres and I can't win the contest, but this idea is a winner...

RichardS
09-03-2006, 04:10 PM
I've wanted to do this for years....but again the range of wifi is the issue. Jsut how many routers/switches/bridges do you want to maintain is the question.

MylesC
09-03-2006, 09:59 PM
You beat me to the post ;)

That's what I get for being in class and meetings all day.

I think this is a great initiative and something we should do in conjunction with a broader campaign of pushing the hightech side of Edmonton.

There are a lot of cities doing it. We should at least look into it.

ShermanT
09-03-2006, 10:32 PM
I've wanted to do this for years....but again the range of wifi is the issue. Jsut how many routers/switches/bridges do you want to maintain is the question.

Yes there is that and the question of whether or not this should be a public or private initiative. I'm no expert in this field but I can imagine that it might be quite an undertaking. I do believe (if done right) it could be really worth the effort.

I mean how many routers/switches/bridges do we need to maintain to service the number of people that would want something like this? My gut feeling is that I would be willing to pay $45-$55 per month for 3-7Mb connection to the internet from anywhere in the city. I dunno if that is reasonable but there it is.

Some more information about what it will take to get something like this up and running (http://news.com.com/The+citywide+Wi-Fi+reality+check/2100-7351_3-5722150.html).

ShermanT
09-03-2006, 10:36 PM
You beat me to the post ;)

That's what I get for being in class and meetings all day.


Probably the first and last time this will happen :P



I think this is a great initiative and something we should do in conjunction with a broader campaign of pushing the hightech side of Edmonton.

There are a lot of cities doing it. We should at least look into it.

Yea.. I do agree. What would it take and who would we talk to get something like this to actually happen in this city? I might interested enough to maybe make it a pet issue, but I have no idea where to start.

RichardS
09-03-2006, 11:20 PM
/\ I think we just started. PM me...

ThomasH
09-03-2006, 11:36 PM
I hope this would mean that I would be able to take a laptop and sit by the edge of the river and surf the internet.

...that would be paradise!

RichardS
10-03-2006, 07:57 AM
That's EXACTLY what this means...

ShermanT
10-03-2006, 12:08 PM
I hope this would mean that I would be able to take a laptop and sit by the edge of the river and surf the internet.

...that would be paradise!

That would be one of the great things. You could also do things like:


instant message your friends/family to meet instead of SMS or calling them on cell phone
do research or look up competing prices for any product you are looking at in store
see which movies are good while you are waiting in line
find an address on a map with directions
access your whole music libarary while walking around downtown
listen to the hockey/football game
book tickets to an event while you are out


The possiblities seem endless for both personal and business uses. I hope I'm not wearing rose coloured glasses when it comes to this but it just seems to compelling to ignore. It really would be something if a "small" city like Edmonton started an initiative that only the largest cities in the world are just starting to consider.

Edmonchuck
15-03-2006, 08:44 AM
gimmie, gimmie, gimmie!

MylesC
15-03-2006, 10:35 AM
As I said earlier, AWESOME idea. Even if just the downtown financial area were done for now as a test project it would be something. If it's successful, the project could be expanded.

Brentk
28-03-2006, 09:05 AM
I think that Edmonton should do this. Colorado Springs where I live has done his and charges an access fee for the downtown core.

What if Edmonton opened this up to a bid. That way Telus, Rogers and whom ever else could bid for the chance to serve the city.

Fell
28-03-2006, 11:27 AM
Link to lots of Boing Boing pieces on cities and WiFi (http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=city+wifi&btnG=Search+Boing+Boing&domains=boingboing.net&sitesearch=boingboing.net)

:idea:

ShermanT
31-03-2006, 05:35 PM
Just putting more fuel on the fire (http://news.ft.com/cms/s/e6b2fd14-bd97-11da-a998-0000779e2340,dwp_uuid=863bb51c-1f76-11da-853a-00000e2511c8.html).

The country of Macedonia now has 95% Wi-Fi coverage. Ain't it great? :lol:

RichardS
31-03-2006, 09:28 PM
Show up at the steering committee meeting and make sure this is on the agenda,... ;)

RichardS
31-03-2006, 10:14 PM
Rogers, Bell compete for wireless Internet market
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Font: * * * * Paul Marck, Edmonton Journal
Published: Friday, March 31, 2006
Call it pick-up-and-go Internet.

Both Rogers and Bell came out offering different versions of wireless Internet products they’re selling across Canada, going head-to-head with Telus and Shaw in Alberta and B.C.

The Internet involves using a shared broadband network called Inukshuk, delivered over both companies’ cellphone tower infrastructure, but not using the cellphone network itself. Initially, it is available in 20 cities across Canada, including Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer, with future plans for rural areas as well.

Customers will have a portable modem that can deliver the signal wirelessly to computers and Internet devices via an Ethernet or WiFi router.

Rogers is calling its service Portable Internet, while Bell is calling its version Sympatico High Speed Unplugged.

Rogers is charging $49.95 a month, plus a modem purchase of $99.95 for a one-year contract that gives customers up to 1.5 mbps download and 256 kbps upload.

Bell has two versions: 512 kbps for $45 a month or $60 a month for three mbps, both on a 24-month contract that requires a $99 modem.

These compare to Telus DSL service or Shaw’s high-speed service that are both offered at $39.95 a month, both at three mbps, but these are hardwired to their networks.

Terry Canning, vice-president and general manager of Rogers high-speed Internet services, said his company expects flexibility and convenience of not having to be physically connected to a network as a big customer draw.

“The handy thing is the portability, not just around your house, but from city to city, town to town, location to location,” said Canning.

“Definitely it’s a product that suits people who are looking for some portability in their Internet use where they are going to and from work and home, home and school, or a travelling businessman going from city to city. This product is targeted for those kind of experiences.”

Rogers won’t say how what kind of market penetration it expects in the West, where it will be a new competitor as an Internet Service Provider, but is confident that consumers will respond.

“We’ve looked at this product and we know there’s a market for it.”

Rogers and Bell both compete with Telus for cellphone service in Western Canada.

Bell is also a partner in Shaw’s cable telephone service.

Until now, Shaw and Telus have had the residential high-speed Internet business to themselves.

Telus has no current plans to offer a competing wireless Internet service to go up against Rogers or Bell.

“It doesn't change our strategy,” said Telus spokesman Jim Johannsson. “We are going to continue to focus on our build out of our next generation EVDO (cellular) network.”

In addition to its ADSL Internet services via existing home lines, Telus also offers EVDO Internet connectivity with non-mobile devices, but at higher premiums

RichardS
01-04-2006, 10:35 AM
Go slowly into wireless future
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Font: * * * * The Edmonton Journal
Published: Saturday, April 01, 2006
A stock broker confirming deals with Beijing from the steps of Churchill Square. A college student doing online research on the bus home. Friends along Whyte Avenue settling a dispute by whipping out a laptop to Google the identity of that guest star from Gilligan's Island, Episode 19.

This cyber-utopia stuff would have been an apt April Fool's joke years ago, but now cities around North America are rushing to go wireless, blanketing their neighbourhoods with signals for low-cost or free Internet service. It's touted as how to build a hip and "smart" city, attracting business and youth while connecting new users who find present costs unaffordable.

With Toronto launching plans for wireless fidelity (WiFi) downtown this fall and citywide by 2009, should Edmonton jump on this bandwagon?

Two answers: not so fast, and it already is to an extent.

The latter first: the City of Edmonton has already plans to build its own small Wi-fi network for its municipal workers, a plan which could reduce third-party costs and increase efficiency. The University of Alberta is eyeing a $3-million project to make its whole campus a wireless hotspot within two years, boosting accessibility for students who need it more than most.

These are two sound pilot projects which can help gauge the city's WiFi readiness, says Craig Settles, author of Fighting the Good Fight for Municipal Wireless. The Californian is a major advocate of WiFi, but also critical of cities which get trendy and wind up with haphazard outcomes.

Settles suggests tortoises might win this race, and hurrying can lead to technological problems and angry users. A city should watch where others succeed or fail, and carefully research its own markets.

It must ask: Who wants wireless? Who will use it? Is it good for downtown and suburbs, young and old? Can our sprawling city establish a viable network? Do we want to compete with telecom firms providing citywide service? (Friday, Rogers and Bell unveiled a wireless plan costing as little as $45 per month plus modem charges.) To connect the unconnected, is it ready to provide the necessary cheap computers and education programs? Is all this worth it to save Edmontonians perhaps half off their monthly Internet bills, or is more at stake?

Like cellphones and BlackBerries, the Internet's future will be wireless. If council wants to usher in this era, it needs to know exactly what it wants, and how to get there.

ShermanT
01-04-2006, 12:31 PM
Rogers, Bell compete for wireless Internet market


This does sound like a decent solution but it requires a different device to access the system than plain old wi-fi. That may be a turn off for users because of the cost of the device, that it isn't a standard device (where are business travelers going to get one?), and that it might have limited number of devices it allows to connect (will I be able to use it with my PDA?). We'll have to see the how they execute this, but I do think that more competition is good. I am definitely going to keep my eye on this one.


Go slowly into wireless future

I agree with the "measure twice cut once" philosophy, but I am not sure I want to wait two years and see how the U of A does before planning a city wide solution. Having one burocratic organization waiting on another is probably one of the factors in taking 20 odd years for Hall D to get done.

I am also at odds with the idea of needing to "provide the necessary cheap computers and education programs" along with this. This kind of thinking is probably why this network will most likely be ran by a private organization. I wish I remember the exact number for penetration of internet access in Edmonton, but I really do think that we are beyond the point of people going "what is this internet thing anyway?".

RichardS
01-04-2006, 01:55 PM
I did some research on WiMAX,and that has some compatibility issues as well. If we could find out a good way to maximize the penetrtation of good ol' 802.11...


proprietary netwroks = BAD. Content is where it is at...

ShermanT
03-04-2006, 08:24 AM
Hmm.. looks like Inukshuk is a pre-final-standardized WiMax...

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060402-6507.html

and apparently it has launched. It didn't sound like it was going to be available so soon. This is starting to get more interesting... time to start digging up information on this.

ShermanT
03-04-2006, 08:30 AM
Oh wait... the other proverbial shoe of course just had to drop. From the Arstechnica forums:


As far as I know this is not WiMax but some proprietary tech (or pre-WiMax gear).

Also, you forgot to mention the some things.

For Bell's service (I assume Rogers is the same/similar):

1. You need to buy the modem for $250 + $15 shipping (yikes). Since the service doesn't seem to be a standard (WiMax) the modem would be more or less useless outside of Rogers/Sympatico.

2. Usage caps: 4GB and 60GB for 512Kb and 3Mb services respectively.

3. The modem isn't exactly portable (think DSL modem) and there doesn't appear to be PC-cards available (I shudder to think how much they would cost).

4. Roaming charges! WTF? It's all their network! Pretty much rules out using this for people who travel, which I thought would be one of the few target markets.

In sum -- Not worth it unless you live out in a region without wireline broadband or you need to use Internet in several locations *in the same city*. Because of the modem size (and having it dangle from your laptop) these locations would have to be 'fixed workplaces' in that you would have to prepared to unpack the modem and connect it (e.g. home<->office to surf for several hours but not park bench to quickly check your email).

They could have at least sold it to business travellers if they weren't so greedy as to charge for roaming. Maybe they are hoping corp's will foot the bill for their employees (fat chance).

Yea... my initial assumptions were correct. Move along.. nothing to see here.. :cry:

Fell
06-04-2006, 04:03 PM
Google Inc. and its partner EarthLink were chosen by San Francisco Wednesday to blanket the city with affordable wireless Internet access, beating out five other bidders for a chance at the highly coveted contract.

San Francisco will start negotiating a deal with the two companies, following a recommendation by a city panel evaluating the project.

The decision by San Francisco brings the prospect of free wireless Internet access for residents one step closer to reality. If completed, virtually everyone within the city limits will be able to get online -- provided they have a compatible computer -- whether at home, in a park or at work.

continued via SFGate… (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/04/05/MNG4GI44LA19.DTL&type=tech)

ShermanT
06-04-2006, 04:20 PM
Yes it is quite exciting.

I really wish Edmonton could do something like that. I wonder who pitched this idea to who? SF to Google or Google to SF? I wonder if Edmonton would be considered a large enough audience for Google (or somebody) to do something similar here...

They (unfortunately) did apply for a patent on the business model (!! yea.. that's another rant) of supplying free wi-fi for ad revenue. Anyone have more details on that and how it might affect other places which are looking to do the same thing?

RichardS
29-04-2006, 01:50 PM
Wired world goes wireless for Internet access in cities across the country

By SCOTT EDMONDS

2006-04-29 14:54:00





(CP) - Unplugged, it seems, is the way of the future.

Major U.S. cities such as San Francisco and Philadelphia are making headlines with offers of free wireless Internet access, and there are Canadian wireless projects pretty well from coast to coast.

Fredericton is a pioneer and has already completed the first phase of its free Wi-Fi project and is well into the second, expected to cover the entire 50,000 residents of the New Brunswick capital by the end of the year.

"We're progressing quite well," says Mayor Brad Woodside.

The city has spent $300,000 on it so far and he says it has been a smooth process, embraced by residents.

"From visitors it has been even more positive. They can come down, get their laptop and sit on a park bench and connect."

Nationally, Inukshuk Wireless Inc. has completed its initial phase, which brings access to about 12 million people in 20 cities across the country, from Victoria to St. John's, as well as some smaller centres, all under the umbrella of a deal between Rogers and Bell.

"I believe we're at the leading edge," says Inukshuk's general manager Don Falle.

"We have the largest WiMax-type network in the world right now."

For the uninitiated, Wi-Fi and WiMax are both ways for computers or other electronic devices to communicate using radio waves. They operate on different frequencies and offer different levels of performance, and the rules are agreed to by a group called the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Wi-Fi is the 802.11 standard and WiMax is the 802.16 standard.

Wi-Fi is the kind of network found in an Internet cafe. A Wi-Fi hotspot might be able to handle 100 or so computers within a very limited range. WiMax equipment can handle thousands and its range is measured in kilometres, not feet.

The wireless card in a computer you might buy today is compatible with Wi-Fi. To connect to WiMax you would have to get a box much like your cable or DSL modem that connects your computer to a high-speed wired broadband network.

But there may come a time in the not-so-distant future when one card will do both.

"If you look at today and where this technology is going, just as you see Wi-Fi built into PCs, you'll see WiMax built into PCs," says Falle.

Sean Maloney, executive vice-president and co-manager of chipmaker Intel's mobility group, agrees. He has said Intel is already planning mobile WiMax cards and single chip Wi-Fi/WiMax.

At the moment, there is one big gap in Inukshuk's national service - it has no federal licence for Manitoba or Saskatchewan. But, elsewhere, Bell or Rogers customers can sign up now to get the service. Rogers calls it Rogers Portable Internet; at Bell it's Sympatico High Speed Unplugged.

The service is available in Toronto, but that hasn't stopped Toronto Hydro Telecom from preparing to offer Wi-Fi in the city's downtown core by the end of the year, and it will be free - at least for the first six months.

Toronto Hydro Telecom has traditionally dealt only with a niche business market in providing Internet service, but downtown residents are also to be included in the Wi-Fi offering.

The utility has a big advantage over other companies that might like to get into the business - access to streetlights in the city on which it can install its Wi-Fi equipment.

"We have a unique position. The one thing that is holding back a lot of companies from doing this is infrastructure," says marketing director Dino Farinaccia.

Not that all this connectivity comes without its critics.

The Toronto Hydro plan stirred a debate in the city's newspapers over whether Wi-Fi is harmful to your health. According to experts, there is no solid evidence that it is, but that hasn't stopped people from speculating.

As an electrical utility, Farinaccia says they take the issue very seriously. It's all part of the debate over the threat posed by electromagnetic fields, of which radio waves are only a part. Wi-Fi cards are really nothing more than little radios, capable of sending and receiving.

"When it comes to EMF, we do not take it lightly by all means. We are contracting more studies on it," he says.

Personally, though, he says fretting over Wi-Fi seems odd, given the society in which we live.

"We all have microwaves, we all have cellphones, the cellular network is alive and well. We're getting hit everywhere. I think Wi-Fi is the lesser of the evils."

canucklehead
29-04-2006, 09:27 PM
I wonder what the actual cost to set up a service per capita would be? Personally I think free and non-profit is the best solution to get people to sign up. Anyway, it would be a great way to get the city completely online and I think its only a matter of time before it happens. Hopefully sooner than later!

Mock
30-04-2006, 04:29 AM
These compare to Telus DSL service or Shaw’s high-speed service that are both offered at $39.95 a month, both at three mbps, but these are hardwired to their networks.

Those Shaw numbers are way out of date, their base High Speed Internet is 49.95 a month for 5mbps download, 512kbps upload, and they also have their Extreme connection for another 10 dollars more that gets you 7mbps download, and 1mbps upload.

Fell
26-06-2006, 01:08 PM
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Peter Shyu, an engineer, spends most of his day out of the office, and when he needs an Internet connection he often pops into one of the many coffee shops in this city that offer free wireless access.

He could use WiFly, the extensive wireless network commissioned by the city government that is the cornerstone of Taipei's ambitious plan to turn itself into an international technology hub. But that would cost him $12.50 a month.

"I'm here because it's free, and if it's free elsewhere, I'll go there too," said Mr. Shyu, hunched over his I.B.M. laptop in an outlet of the Doutor coffee chain. "It's very easy to find free wireless connections."

Despite WiFly's ubiquity — with 4,100 hot spot access points reaching 90 percent of the population — just 40,000 of Taipei's 2.6 million residents have agreed to pay for the service since January. Q-Ware, the local Internet provider that built and runs the network, once expected to have 250,000 subscribers by the end of the year, but it has lowered that target to 200,000.

That such a vast and reasonably priced wireless network has attracted so few users in an otherwise tech-hungry metropolis should give pause to civic leaders in Chicago, Philadelphia and dozens of other American cities that are building wireless networks of their own.

Like Taipei, these cities hope to use their new networks to help less affluent people get online and to make their cities more business-friendly. Yet as Taipei has found out, just building a citywide network does not guarantee that people will use it. Most people already have plenty of access to the Internet in their offices and at home, while wireless data services let them get online anywhere using phones, laptops and P.D.A.'s.
continued via NYTimes (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/26/technology/26taipei.html?ei=5088&en=8a1b4842ada0d065&ex=1308974400&adxnnl=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1151348475-NCN28ImMrCvuElxwuDdmsg)

ShermanT
26-06-2006, 11:15 PM
Definitely something to be aware of... although I think Edmonton is far less dense than Taipei. It is getting harder and harder to find a "free" connection in downtown, and security is starting to become a real concern.

I'd rather deal with not enough people using it rather than not having one at all I guess... but I really should start writing my article on the subject.

RichardS
27-06-2006, 08:24 AM
Yes...yes you should.......

MylesC
04-07-2006, 04:24 PM
I read an article about free WiFi in downtown's on one of my NWA flights, I think. Or Scientific America.

Crap...stupid half conscious reading.

Anyways, it mentioned how some of the big telecom players in the states like Voxcom were trying to squash the development of WiFi free zones but ultimately they lost and people are loving these things.

I still strongly feel that Edmonton should start pursuing this.

ShermanT
04-07-2006, 04:48 PM
Anyways, it mentioned how some of the big telecom players in the states like Voxcom were trying to squash the development of WiFi free zones but ultimately they lost and people are loving these things.

Make no mistake, reliable city-wide wi-fi is something that all traditional telecommunications companies are afraid of (or they should be). This could potentially eat into many of their revenue streams if it takes off and they are in danger of not being able to recover unless they stop it. Makes me wonder why they don't just take the initiative and just do what people are asking for so they at least get something...

ShermanT
05-07-2006, 04:23 PM
Yet another large city looking to pursue this endeavour:

Paris says 'oui' to WiFi, fiber (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060705-7190.html)

I wonder if "wait and see" really might be a valid strategy given that there are so many plans for this. There would be ample opportunity to learn from the mistakes of other cities. Or would it be better to be a city that others learn from?

RichardS
10-11-2006, 12:37 AM
While driving downtown today, I found my Blackberry lacking for internet coverage - even though I was demonstrating it (and NO, I wasn't the one driving).

802.11N speeds would be nice....

DanC
10-11-2006, 12:40 AM
802.11N signal is about about what? A 4x increase in range over G? To do the whole CBD with the range increase it might only require 1 - 2 routers per block...the price point is coming way down. Soon enough I can't see it not being an option.

RichardS
10-11-2006, 12:52 AM
Depending on the line of sight, interference, and building wall size - it is up tp 4X 80211G.

For building subscribers, a repeater system could be installed near a window to ensure office space coverage. If you bought in bulk, the price point could ocme down.

WiMax...where's that now?

ShermanT
10-11-2006, 02:21 AM
There have been a lot of things happening with City wide wireless since the last time we looked into this item.

Toronto Hydro got their system up and running. I believe the cost was something like $25/month or so. I don't remember many other details other than that. Mountain View California's network (sponsored by Google) has also been up and running for a bit now:

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2006/08/free-citywide-wifi-in-mountain-view.html

Has anyone from C2E had the chance to try either one of these networks? Have any C2E members had a chance to try ANY City Wide Wireless networks? I'd love to hear from you...

EDIT: Wow... these are also very cool. Looks like these would be the ultimate solution to solving problems within buildings:

http://nickilh.googlepages.com/home

So, pay the access charge for the City Wide Wireless (CWW), and then if you want access to the same network from home simply buy a wi-fi modem as well. Prices are still a bit high for the modem, but I'm sure they will come down. Have it for a few years and it will be competitively priced vs. ADSL and Cable. Hmm...

canucklehead
12-11-2006, 05:59 PM
I just read a couple days ago about Moncton launching a cheap Wifi service using a technology called iburst. Maybe this is something that Edmonton could do as well. Ideally I'd love to see it free for all...

ShermanT
12-11-2006, 11:43 PM
Ideally I'd love to see it free for all...

Unfortunately this implies either government/corporate sponsorship. Government will likely not touch this, and I am not sure about corporate sponsorship since there don't see to be big enough players in Edmonton who would have something to gain by giving it away for free. Please someone prove me wrong as I would love to see it free for all as well.

Make it a business or make it a community sponsored type initiative. Partially business sponsored might also be a possibility (would EPCOR be willing to become our Toronto Hydro?).

RichardS
13-11-2006, 12:28 AM
It won't be free, nor should it IMO.

C'mon...as you sit and sip your $4.00 latte, you can't pay 10/mo for wifi?

You can afford the PDA or laptop, but you can't buy access?

DanC
13-11-2006, 11:57 AM
Paying for access can ensure good maintenance and capital for upgrading/expanding upgrading the infrastructure.

If the fee is nominal and doesn't act as a barrier to access, I have no problem with it. Mind I am going to generalize and say someone who has a laptop and is roaming around the Downtown usually isn't going to be pressed to find 10$-15$ a month for access.

ShermanT
13-11-2006, 12:08 PM
I envision not just access in the downtown area, but everywhere in this city. I wonder at what point does it become okay to charge $50/month for access to this truly City Wide Wi-Fi service. That amount of money per month with simlar rules to ADSL and Cable broadband services. To get access to the service from inside of your home you will likely need to purchase a $160 City Wi-Fi modem (but it isn't required).

Maybe do levels of service: One from airport all the way into DT and all of DT, and one that is the entire city that is meant to replace your residential broadband connection.

I wonder if it would be possible to give access to even only DT for $15/month...

Fell
17-11-2006, 11:24 AM
I'm not re-reading this thread as it's been posted elsewhere on the forums, but I did just come across this via Slashdot so I'll post it for further review:


Microsoft is moving to be the latest player to bring its formidable weight to bear in the growing Wi-Fi market (http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/nov2006/tc20061117_311713.htm?campaign_id=bier_tcv.g3a.rss 1117c). The software giant's recent deal to provide content and services through partnership with municipal Wi-Fi operator MetroFi in Portland, Ore., will intensify the battle between Google, Yahoo!, and MSN for online traffic. Why the focus? Content providers who capture the growing municipal Wi-Fi market will be in a better position to enjoy higher traffic to their sites and greater customer loyalty — and, as a result, grab a greater share of the $16 billion of expected online advertising dollars this year, according to consultancy eMarketer. 'It's a battle for eyeballs,' says Matt Rosoff, an analyst with the consultancy firm 'Directions on Microsoft'.

Though I did just read the above about $50/mos for wifi and I think that one of the purposes of the city adopting it should be affordability for people, particularly if its going to be a civic service. Or look at the centres working with free wifi.

ShermanT
17-11-2006, 02:56 PM
Though I did just read the above about $50/mos for wifi and I think that one of the purposes of the city adopting it should be affordability for people, particularly if its going to be a civic service. Or look at the centres working with free wifi.

Well, the only reason why I said $50/month is because that is around the same price as what people are paying for broadband right now (cable/DSL). Free is a possibility, but I do believe there might be limitations depending on who is making it free. If the limitations were acceptable then that would definitely be something to look at.

RichardS
17-11-2006, 05:30 PM
I'll say it again...

If you can afford the laptop, you can afford wi-fi.

If you are a business traveller, then our provider should join a national network...

ShermanT
17-11-2006, 05:50 PM
If you are a business traveller, then our provider should join a national network...

Hmm... now wouldn't that be something, crazy, new, exciting... :idea:

North Guy66
20-03-2007, 06:40 PM
http://www.vueweekly.com/articles/default.aspx?i=5961

IT COMES DOWN TO THE WIRELESS

CHRIS SALTEL / [email protected]


I am having a coffee, sending away some important emails and trading players on my fantasy hockey team, when my elbow accidentally knocks over my cup and coffee comes rushing at my laptop. All of a sudden I’ve tripped some booby trap and I spend a moment in peril and disbelief. I quickly grab my computer under one arm and leap to a table nearby without hesitation or restraint.

Not to mention, without cords. Wireless internet is becoming an increasingly popular offering in places like cafés and hotels, where the business picks up the tab for the service in the hopes of attracting customers, but publicly-funded and freely-available WiFi networks are springing up in major urban centres around the world, as well.

The City of Edmonton is now considering blanketing the downtown core with a WiFi network of its own. The move is seen as part of efforts to revitalize the city core and as an attempt to bring Edmonton toe-to-toe with some of the world’s more metropolitan cities, taking the nod from places like San Francisco, Philadelphia, London and Toronto, which brought its WiFi system online last fall.

WiFi is wireless internet access broadcasted in the same manner as radio or cellular coverage. Most new laptops come with necessary hardware to tune-in to a WiFi signal, and there are USB add-ons for the old ones that don’t.

The initiative is being spearheaded by Edmonton’s Next Gen Committee. Borne out of last year’s Next Gen Task Force—a group that was formed by City Hall to make recommendations on how to make Edmonton a more friendly place to live and work for young people in hopes of attracting more 18- to 40-year-olds to the city and to prevent young people growing up in Edmonton from leaving for opportunities elsewhere—the committee is looking at ways to implement the recommendations presented to city council by the task force last June.

“The task force had come up with some key recommendations; we are now at the point of accommodating those recommendations,” City Councillor and Committee Chair Kim Krushell explained, pointing out that Next Gen’s purpose is to act as a hub for young Edmontonians and that she encourages people to become involved.

The committee just finished conducting an online survey to gauge public interest in the idea of WiFi throughout the targeted demographic. Other cities have developed this new infrastructure without much input from the community, but Edmonton seems to be taking a more democratic approach before delving into this unfamiliar technological advancement.

“Next Gen is looking for input,” she added, “whether through the online survey or blog.”

While the effectiveness of the survey remains to be seen, Kevin MacMillen, chair of the WiFi sub-committee, is optimistic about its results.

“It has already had around 100 hits, and it’s only been around for a month” he said of the survey.

MacMillen was optimistic about the idea of completely blanketing the downtown core with access, while Krushell noted that a series of strategically located “hot spots” would probably be more realistic at this point.

Fellow committee member Christine Causing was quick to add that this project would not be ending at the fact-finding stage.

“The survey is very serious,” she elaborated. “We have this survey, as well as the blog, as well as our meetings with City of Edmonton’s IT branch, so there is a lot of communication. There is a good momentum for this right now.”

MacMillen is deeply involved in the project and has an obvious enthusiasm for its development and implementation, although questions about which private telecommunications company or companies will ultimately be contracted to provide the service will remain unanswered for some time.

“We had a rep from Roger’s Wireless come in and speak with the committee,” he admitted, “and we’ve been looking a lot at Verizon’s WiMax system.”

The level of involvement of private industry is also still up in the air, as is the question of how the system will be paid for and by whom. In Toronto, for example, the WiFi system is provided by Toronto Hydro-Telecom, with users paying a subscription fee based on the amount of time and usage.

“It’s still being explored,” Causing said. “And it is still one of the biggest questions that remains to be looked at.” V

Fell
27-03-2007, 08:40 PM
Sprint has announced the launch (http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20070326005941&newsLang=en) city lineup for their upcoming 4G WiMax rollout, so pay attention. If you live in one of the following cities, you'll be enjoying fast, wireless access by April of next year:

Chicago, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Providence, Washington DC, Austin, Dallas, Denver, Fort Worth, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and Seattle.

I point this out in case commercial initiatives are poised to outflank municipal efforts to introduce WiFi. I don't know the intricate details of the Sprint mobile network, but if Rogers or whomever looks to roll something similar out in the coming years, perhaps the City of Edmonton and Next Gen should reconsider the cost of the government doing it.

Mobile devices will continue to dictate the necessity for connectivity such as this — especially with the announcement of the Google phone tentative for perhaps next year. Is a downtown WiFi network a dated technology set to be replaced by networks such as WiMAX and others?

It warrants some further research.

ShermanT
27-03-2007, 11:00 PM
As long as phone companies think that the pricing structure for Citywide Wi-fi should be similar to their cellphones, there will be a place for another solution. By the minute or by the KB charges will get in the way of their solutions ever succeeding.

Fell
28-03-2007, 03:01 AM
As long as phone companies think that the pricing structure for Citywide Wi-fi should be similar to their cellphones, there will be a place for another solution. By the minute or by the KB charges will get in the way of their solutions ever succeeding.
As I said, with some research I believe it's very probable that the telcos will get away from that model. It works now, but there will be new developments in the coming years. Too quickly to dismiss it. Don't gauge what's coming on what's currently in place.

:)

Titanium48
28-03-2007, 01:39 PM
As long as phone companies think that the pricing structure for Citywide Wi-fi should be similar to their cellphones, there will be a place for another solution. By the minute or by the KB charges will get in the way of their solutions ever succeeding.

Time charges won't fly, but ultimately all ISPs will need to start charging customers for the bandwidth they use. Of course, the price will need to be around $1/GB, not $1/kB.

ShermanT
28-03-2007, 01:47 PM
Time charges won't fly, but ultimately all ISPs will need to start charging customers for the bandwidth they use. Of course, the price will need to be around $1/GB, not $1/kB.

That's right. But the major phone companies like to squeeze as much as they can from their customers when offering their services. The only likely reason they would go towards reasonable rates is if there was some competition (either publicly funded or privately funded).


As I said, with some research I believe it's very probable that the telcos will get away from that model. It works now, but there will be new developments in the coming years. Too quickly to dismiss it. Don't gauge what's coming on what's currently in place.

I wonder what kind of developments you are talking about. Business or technical? Nothing would make me happier than to be proven wrong in the coming years. I really don't care who provides the service as long as the service gives me what I want...

ShermanT
16-04-2007, 02:48 PM
Some interesting data in this article:

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070415-users-im-not-gonna-pay-a-lot-for-this-mufhhh-mobile-internet.html

Pretty much confirming what we already guessed. The idea of a flat fee for access to specifc applications is one way around it. Of course I am way more for charging reasonable/flexible rates for all data...

cmurrie
10-05-2007, 06:58 PM
Friends, Edmontonians, Relax!

Wireless internet IS coming to Edmonton within a few years. It's a private sector initiative and I can't say much more than that for around $30 a month you will be able to get WiFi access anywhere in Edmonton.

You'll also get options for VoIP and wireless home security among other services (again, wireless, anywhere in Edmonton). Could you imagine it? Having a wireless VoIP phone you could call from instead of a cell phone? You'd only need your cell phone for when you leave the city limits.

Don't spend tax dollars on creating this kind of service. People like me and you are already investing a lot of our own savings to make this project happen, k? ;)

- cmurrie

ShermanT
10-05-2007, 08:41 PM
How about some details cmurrie? I'd be interested in hearing it...

cmurrie
13-05-2007, 12:35 PM
http://www.webnetcwn.com/