Hopefully our readers have not been sleeping. While much of the world has been watching WiMax deploys stall. (Bad economy, bad decisions, bad deploys.) Another tech has creped up next to WiMax — Super WiFi.
Background. sWiFi is WiFi with longer range and newer frequencies. The FCC granted approval to use the `white spaces` between the old analog TV channels now that the TV industry has transitioned to digital on different frequencies.
On the equipment front the first moves by most of the WiFi providers has been a boost in wattage in the current 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands. Thats the same frequencies that the a/b/g/n ranges use today. The extra power has been able to boost range from a practical limit of a few miles to 25 miles in some cases. Longer term, the equipment providers will come to the front with devices that will utilize the longer distance TV frequencies. With multi antenna polar installs ranges of 50+ miles could be entertained.
This still on the drawing board stuff? Nope. Rice university has already trialed a deploy here in Texas. More here. Fact this could be something any average ham or electronic hobbyist should be able to do. An existing WiFi AP fed to a 1-5w power RF amp on existing frequencies could be utilized. The trick is to select an appropriate amp for the frequencies.
Upsides. Everything you know about WiFi is the same. The usual tools, tricks, and security schemes apply. That is a large savings in educational ramp up.
Downsides. All the problems associated with security on WiFi still apply too. Be cognizant of that fact. The other of course, with the longer ranges it is quite possible for ad hoc set ups to step all over each other.
Futures. For rural, low density locations this may well be the solution for them. Permitting is not an issue. With WiMax stalled, sWiFi may take over. When it is possible for a community of people to erect their own community AP’s and buy high gain receivers off the shelf it will take off.
What triggered the creation of this Blog may well be at hand in the next couple of years.
Recently. a DHS operative seized a netload of domains at the behest of a couple of big entertainment industry players. Many great legal minds believe this act was illegal and court cases are pending. Not to be deterred, he is now claiming foreign nationals residing outside of the US fall under his jurisdiction if they own a .net or .com domain .
Now he’s out trying to defend the ridiculously short-sighted decision by the US government try to extradite Richard O’Dwyer from the UK, for running the site TVshack, despite it almost certainly being legal in the UK. According to Barnett, none of that seems to matter, because O’Dwyer was using a .net.
“The jurisdiction we have over these sites right now really is the use of the domain name registry system in the United States. That’s the key.”
The only necessary “nexus to the US” is a .com or .net web address for which Verisign acts as the official registry operator, he said. (Techdirt)
I’m, not a legal professional, but this does seem like quite a stretch to me. Who’s supposed to be keeping an eye on DHS? The agency has rapidly devolved from an incompetent defender of borders to a national police force reporting to ????. There is nothing in the agency’s charter that grants this power. Actually, I do not see anything in the agency’s charter that gives it the authority to police the internet either. DHS is failing miserable at its true charter of sealing the borders, managing shipping and keeping bad guys off airliners. A housecleaning at DHS is long overdue, along with a complete operational audit.
The federal government’s initiatives to expand the reach of broadband has yielded studies, maps, abundant calls to do more, tax more, and regulate more. What it has not created are actual new connections to those who are live in areas without service. Even where funding could help, the process of applying far grants is much too cumbersome for the entrepreneur who can provide can provide service quickly and economically.
In spite the fed’s failure to deliver on promises, service is reaching some rural citizens without the fed’s help.
Conlin delivers broadband to Fauquier County homes bypassed by Comcast and Verizon, bouncing wireless signals from antennas on barns, silos, water towers and cellphone poles.
By some measures, he is a local hero.
“I don’t know how Paul does it,” said John Chierichella, a District lawyer, who struggled for years without reliable broadband. “I don’t really care. All I know is I get service now.”
County officials estimate that 60 percent of Fauquier’s residents have been bypassed by big telecoms because they don’t live in populous clusters that make building broadband infrastructure cost-effective. Though the Obama administration has plans to close the digital divide for the 10 percent of the U.S. population without broadband access, many living within that gap in Fauquier think the problem will be theirs to solve. (Washington Post)
This example could be applied to cover every citizen much more quickly than any government run system possible could. We need a small army of Bill Conlins. We’ll get better coverage faster at a affordable price instead of waiting endlessly for promises to be kept.
While the big tech blogs fawn over the latest reason why LTE has killed Wimax long before the first LTE device is even deployed, Sprint has sold over 300,000 of it’s HTC Wimax handset in the last few days.
Although the company has not released specific figures from its June 4 debut, analyst David Dixon with FBR Capital Markets said the figure is likely close to 320,000 devices and that the carrier may have gained 100,000 new customers and 220,000 upgrades. Sprint claims the launch marked the largest quantity of a single phone it has ever sold in one day, with the Evo 4G beating the previous records the carrier held with the Samsung Instinct and the Palm Pre. (Wimax.com)
Had this device been logoed with a half eaten fruit a talked up by its cult leader, it would have sold millions. Never the less, 300K is not a shabby number for a 2 year contract on a “dead technology”. Silence from big media on something a big as 4G handset selling big numbers is very telling.
The LTE camp hasn’t chosen to park piles of pay for opinion dollars here, so I’ll call it the way I see it unfettered. Am I a Wimax fanboy? Not a chance! I just don’t believe in declaring victory for a player who has yet to enter the arena, especially when it’s rival is actually delivering product and service. If there are currently two wireless standards coexisting in the 3G world, what is so different about 4G that changes he benefit of competing technologies in marketplace?
Congrats to Sprint for scoring a first, and a success. Maybe another player can delivery a lower priced, less crippled 4G handset? We’re watching and waiting.
Has Art Brodsky lost his grip? His posting over at Public Knowledge has to be one of the lamest lines of defense ever offered as a basis for over turning the Rule of Law. Kindness of Strangers be damned!
Mr Brodsky starts with using the Ides of March reversal technique –
Of course, the story isn’t all that simple, is it? Because the hidden story of Comcast’s glorious victory is that if Comcast were smart, it wouldn’t in the first place have brought the case, which challenged the FCC’s authority over the company’s high-speed Internet service. Some in the telecommunications industry, perhaps even huge companies with three letters in its name, urged (begged?) Comcast not to take the FCC’s ruling to court, because of the possibility that Comcast could actually win and, potentially, win big —which is what happened.
The reason that the Telcos like the arrangement Art is that it extended their LATA boundary relationships into the non regulated digital environment without so much as a legal skirmish. And what’s this dismissive alluding but not naming? Its AT&T, VZ, Sprint. Don’t be so damn coy.
But where is the standing on damages to the industry that Mr. Brodsky intones? He offers two — Depend on the Kindness of Strangers, and Waiting for Godot. In the former case he charges that depending on the big firms for telecommunications advancement has led us on a downward spiral in terms of global competitiveness. There is some truth to that but not the whole truth. For who is the hand maiden leading the spiraling down the drain but the FCC itself. Then in the latter case we have this –
We can’t depend on unelected bureaucrats to deal with topics as essential as broadband, because the result could be “excessive and burdensome regulation” on those humble, hard-working telephone and cable companies who unfairly change the rules without any reason at all.
And to you I say, NO we cannot trust bureaucrats with damn near anything including telecommunications. If for no other reason that the concept of the Lack of Sufficient Knowledge on a continuing basis.
But thru all of Mr. Brodsky’s missive is this gem –
… Practically speaking (even if there is a very slim legal opening), broadband is free from regulation – a nirvana that the telecoms industry might once upon a time have gratefully accepted as its due, but now looks upon it with some trepidation because now the door has swung wide open to a full-scale discussion of bringing Internet broadband access services back under reasonable regulation.
Two counts here. Brodsky’s ox has been gored by this ruling yet now the door has been swung open for reasonable regulation? By what variant of a pharmaceutical does he come to this conclusion? Its an election year fella. The chances of a Democratic Congress taking this up is slim to none. Plus if the tea leaves are right the Republican Congress next year won’t have the cycle time to touch it either. The second is under proper procedure, the FCC being a creature of Congress should make the necessary request for an expansion of its authority by the proper means, not some gerrymandered legal trick with a wink and a nod. But Mr. Brodsky the FCC DOES NOT possess the authority to overstate its intended alloted powers. Or do I assume you are willing to abrogate the rule of law to achieve your statist aims under the color of consumer protection. How Stalinist.
For those of the geeky variety, and not so, starting today McDonalds open up its WiFi to all comers. Free. With some catches.
Access is free. So general surfing will be available. According to McD’s web page (here) certain services and particular access needs may still require paying for the privilege. But I am fine with that. It is a step in the right direction.
McD’s being altruistic? Not totally. Their heart is in the right place, but their core reason is profit of course. You see McD’s has been in a battle Royale with StarBucks in the morning fast food segment going on 5 years now. Both players have toyed with the idea of going free on WiFi. Fact in some segments I believe StarBucks has already done so. Why do it? Draw customers in. Once they have you inside you might just buy a cup of coffee at a minimum or pop for a whole meal in the best of cases. Least thats the thinking.
This won’t go unnoticed of course. Figure StarBucks to counter across the board very quickly.
The real question becomes does WiFi stay viable for very long? In a strong parallel, WiFi hotspots are the 21st Century equivalent of the pay phone. Useful sure. But you are ‘parked’ till you finish your communications. Yet the growth of smartphones are anathema to that model as the CPE are tied to metrowide cellular/3g/4g services unrelated to specific locale. So WiFi services that McD’s is providing will fade just like the wall payphone at the local tavern did.