ellohay! West Michigan

Connecting Grand Rapids, the WiMax saga continues

Posted in Uncategorized by forgr on December 8, 2008

Wireless broadband company hired by Grand Rapids battles merger, lawsuit.

“When Clearwire turns on its network, it is expected to offer high-speed mobile Internet access throughout the city’s 45-square-mile limits.

The city’s contract with Clearwire calls for it to provide high-speed mobile connectivity to police, fire and city operations. But it also is expected to offer high-speed services to local residents.

Clearwire has not posted consumer prices, but plans are to offer a variety of competitively priced services. Discounted service of $9.95 per month will be offered for up to 5 percent of the city’s low-income residents.” Read the entire article on mlive.com

Have Your Say for the Future of Philly WiFi, via NTEN

Posted in benchmarks, bookmarks, feedback, wifi by forgr on May 6, 2008

If you live or work in the Philadelphia area, set aside some time on the evening of June 3 for a public forum on the future of wifi in that city.

“The promise of a city where everyone has the potential to be connected, opens new doors for economic, social and political participation.”

Read the full NTEN article here.

Collapsing Benchmarks?

Posted in benchmarks, potential problems, wifi by forgr on March 24, 2008

New York Times: Hopes for Wireless Cities Fade as Internet Providers Pull Out

“EarthLink announced on Feb. 7 that ‘the operations of the municipal Wi-Fi assets were no longer consistent with the company’s strategic direction.’ Philadelphia officials say they are not sure when or if the promised network will now be completed.

For Cesar DeLaRosa, 15, however, the concern is more specific. He said he was worried about his science project on global warming.

‘If we don’t have Internet, that means I’ve got to take the bus to the public library after dark, and around here, that’s not always real safe,’ Cesar said, seated in front of his family’s new computer in a gritty section of Hunting Park in North Philadelphia. His family is among the 1,000 or so low-income households that now have free or discounted Wi-Fi access through the city’s project, and many of them worry about losing access that they cannot otherwise afford.”

“Back in Philadelphia, Cesar’s older sister, Tomasa DeLaRosa, said she had faith that city officials would find a way to finish the network and keep her Internet service going.

‘Our whole house is totally different now,’ said Ms. DeLaRosa, 19, who had never had Internet access at home until last December because she could not afford it.

After signing up for a job training program and completing its course work, Ms. DeLaRosa received a free laptop, training and a year’s worth of free wireless service from Esparanza, a community group.

Greg Goldman, chief executive of Wireless Philadelphia, a nonprofit organization that was set up as part of the city’s deal with EarthLink, said that about $20 million had already been spent on the network, and only about $4 million more would be needed to cover the rest of the city.

Mr. Goldman’s organization is responsible for providing bundles that include a free laptop, Internet access, training and technical support to organizations like Esparanza so they can use them as incentives for their low-income clients like Ms. DeLaRosa to complete job training and other programs.

‘For us and a lot of people in this neighborhood,’ Ms. DeLaRosa said, ‘the Internet is like a path out of here.'”

Meraki

Posted in wifi by forgr on February 8, 2008

This morning while flipping through older issues of Good Magazine I found this little gem:

Meraki’s mission is to bring affordable Internet access to the next billion people. Meraki’s new approach to wireless networking empowers individuals and groups to bring access to local communities, anywhere in the world.”

“Meraki is based in Mountain View, California, and is backed in part by Google and Sequoia Capital.”

Check out the hardware here, and take a look at some of their proposed solutions for networking an entire city here:

meraki.png

Students Tout Wifi Co-ops as Alternative to Municipal Wifi

Posted in wifi by forgr on February 6, 2008

Students Tout Wifi Co-ops as Alternative to Municipal Wifi

By David Chartier | Published: February 06, 2008 – 04:58AM CT

The initial excitement and advantages of municipal WiFi projects have been met with increasingly complex and insurmountable obstacles. At first it was just a few telecom and broadband providers objecting to their turf getting trampled, but soon issues like economics, politics, and the bigger picture began stopping many projects dead in their tracks. If you’re the “hail Mary” type, though, a new proposal from students at MIT and the University of Cambridge could turn things around eventually. Dubbed “wireless cooperative,” the proposal is based on the fact that many urban areas are already peppered with plenty of personal and business hotspots—they just need some finessing to go municipal.