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News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2003


Should wireless broadband be free to all?

Should wireless broadband be free to all?

"For the past several years, fixed wireless has been through numerous trials -- and has failed to catch on. Originally conceived as a relatively easy way to bring broadband Internet access to rural areas underserved by cable and DSL service, most RBOCs, as well as the nation's long distance carriers, have also tested the service in metro areas (Tucson, Atlanta, and Fairfax, Va.) and found technical difficulties, scalability issues and high costs. Now, a new movement is afoot that may change the economics of -- and the technology behind -- fixed wireless. Unfortunately for providers, it relies on open-source software and is intended to be free. At the same time, however, new efforts aimed at standardizing wireless Internet access in the licensed spectrum are gaining momentum. The wireless genie, it appears, it out of the bottle. Like it or not, there's no going back."

The article goes on to describe efforts to make wireless broadband access both ubiquitous and free. (I have my doubts about the economics).



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