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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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Monday, February 23, 2004


"Lafayette, Louisiana Deploys World's Largest Rural Public Wi-Fi Network and Brings Mobile Broadband Connectivity to Mardi Gras"

February 19: Syndeo, a full-service communications company specializing in the deployment and operation of metro-scale wireless networks, today announced that, using equipment from Tropos Networks, they have successfully gone live with the world's largest rural public Wi-Fi network which will be showcased during Lafayette's Mardi Gras celebration. The 13 square mile network makes wireless mobile broadband data connections available to businesses, schools and residences throughout the Lafayette parish. At Mardi Gras, Syndeo will provide free public Wi-Fi access along with real-time video monitoring and emergency medical services to ensure public safety. With a slight spin on Cajun tradition, Syndeo's CEO Sam Robertson describes the annual event as 'parades, music, beads and Wi-Fi.'"

"'By providing metro-scale, mobile broadband access throughout Lafayette, we are laying the much needed foundation for the technology infrastructure that will support and enhance the economy,' said Joey Durel, Lafayette parish president. 'The network will provide the fundamental connectivity that we were lacking to make technology an everyday way of life and allow people and businesses to be more efficient and cost-effective. And, significantly, it will help us overcome a major hurdle and be a key asset in attracting new business to the area.'"

"Using the outdoor-optimized Tropos 5110 Wi-Fi cells, Syndeo has "unwired" more than 13 square miles of Lafayette. For the lowest cost and easy access, the network is accessible via standard 802.11 client devices ... With the successful deployment of the network, each subscriber now has access to true broadband connectivity (greater than 1 Mbps)."

The municipally-owned Lafayette Utilities System already has an extensive fiber optic network serving government, business, utility and wholesale telecommunications customers throughout the city.


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