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First Super Wi-Fi Network in the U.S. Finally Deployed

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January 27, 2012 12:53:32 AM

intresting ,, hope its fast too
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January 27, 2012 12:53:55 AM

wow.. that cuts the cables.. :D 
faster.. safer.. reliable.. :D 
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January 27, 2012 12:54:48 AM

hope its fast too
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January 27, 2012 1:56:00 AM

Ugh... 10-15mbs limit? Thats not good. I mean, for what it is, its better than expected, but we all know that we won't even be getting 10-15mbs. It will probably end up being somewhere around, what? 3mbs? But, its still a huge advancement, especially if this comes out nationwide.
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January 27, 2012 2:07:30 AM

keczapifrytkiDoes this mean that we will eventually get free internet access all around USA?

Be careful about how you define "free".
If you mean that you wont have to pay for it directly through a monthly bill from a company, then yes.
The cost of a public internet service in the US would, however, be payed through taxes, so it still costs money to run, and you would have no opportunity to op-out like you could before.

It might be a good idea, it might not, depends on how it is implemented.
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January 27, 2012 2:26:15 AM

"For the city and many companies installing hardware like surveillance cameras, line-of-sight is no longer an issue, reducing installation costs."

So the cameras can see through walls? Sweet!
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January 27, 2012 2:36:21 AM

supertrek32"For the city and many companies installing hardware like surveillance cameras, line-of-sight is no longer an issue, reducing installation costs."So the cameras can see through walls? Sweet!


the wi-fi can, silly :D 
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January 27, 2012 2:46:46 AM

Anyone else feel there are a ton of variables that haven't been accounted for? The kind of load that this public wifi can handle, how its monitored, how is it maintained, at what cost to the user (in the future)?
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January 27, 2012 3:38:26 AM

"In it's current condition"

god damnit most common grammar mistake in the book
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January 27, 2012 3:39:32 AM

I'm excited at the idea of finally getting universal free wireless internet access, something people have longed for, but it'll start with the speeds were were used to maybe 10 years ago (don't remember that long), so don't expect too much or compare it with your home internet.
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January 27, 2012 3:44:22 AM

How about health? As much as I love technology, human health comes first. We're still not sure of all the effects of radiation. Are we all going to have cancer in 40 years?
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January 27, 2012 4:07:39 AM

Not bad....
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Anonymous
January 27, 2012 4:08:40 AM

Quote:
How about health? As much as I love technology, human health comes first. We're still not sure of all the effects of radiation. Are we all going to have cancer in 40 years?
Yes, we will all have cancer because using the old tv spectrum for wifi is deadly. Fortunately, we'll all be dead before then because its 2012!
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January 27, 2012 4:18:10 AM

@cpatel1987
"Anyone else feel there are a ton of variables that haven't been accounted for? The kind of load that this public wifi can handle, how its monitored, how is it maintained, at what cost to the user (in the future)?"

Yeah....... it's all been looked into and very very well controlled and monitored.
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January 27, 2012 4:43:07 AM

I read an article about the whitespace testing a while ago, from what i remember it was very cool stuff. they could supposedly get a much larger range, but the best part is instead of having 10,000 users in a stadium jam up the local wifi, 10,000 users can all wi-fi at the same time.

Its actually better for lots of people near the same area. If this technology could get up to say 100mbps per second, amazing.

The next logical step, once you have everything optimized:
1.) spread all of these over the most populated U.S places
2.) prepare for warfare as you force every wireless carrier to their knees.
3.) enjoy the cries of rejoice and success for giving everybody affordable unlimited mobile data plans and internet.
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January 27, 2012 5:39:01 AM

cheepstuffBe careful about how you define "free".If you mean that you wont have to pay for it directly through a monthly bill from a company, then yes. The cost of a public internet service in the US would, however, be payed through taxes, so it still costs money to run, and you would have no opportunity to op-out like you could before.It might be a good idea, it might not, depends on how it is implemented.


what was it, 20-50 million dollars a few years back was spent to advertise the 20$ bill change?
2-800$ plungers
not to mention 4 billion in aid to just one country on a yearly basis

as far as im concerned, this is a better waste of our money than EVERYTHING ELSE they do,

aftcometHow about health? As much as I love technology, human health comes first. We're still not sure of all the effects of radiation. Are we all going to have cancer in 40 years?


this is crap we already used and is being repurposed.
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January 27, 2012 8:55:31 AM

But will it play Crysis?
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January 27, 2012 8:58:09 AM

White space is supposed to have some unlicensed frequencies, meaning consumers can buy a $50 box and notebook card made by linksys or buffalo, plug it in at home to the cable modem and have wireless that's superior in every way to wifi. That's been promised before with other frequencies and it didn't happen. I'll believe it when I see it.
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Anonymous
January 27, 2012 10:42:41 AM

So this is a waste of money. I can already see the drawbacks as speed is already an issue with a good signal and will most likely degrade further for most people. I can already see groups of people huddled around the antenna trying to watch video. A better ideal was what Europe did in many places and created small network hotspots that would provide this type of access. The real question is how effective will it be if its overwhelmed by bandwidth hogs? 10 to 15 mbps won't seem like much once you get those hogs sucking all the bandwidth.
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January 27, 2012 11:52:06 AM

aftcometHow about health? As much as I love technology, human health comes first. We're still not sure of all the effects of radiation. Are we all going to have cancer in 40 years?

We actually are sure of all the effects of radiation (at least, if you're talking about wireless radios, cell towers, etc.). That is, they don't do anything to humans. Those who report that they are adversely effective have, in all cases, been totally unable to reliably reproduce the effect. In fact, there's a $1M prize standing for any human who can detect radio signals. If these people's symptoms were actually a result of what they claim, then one of them would have walked away with the prize years ago.

In truth, these people are simply blaming radio signals for symptoms they can't find any other cause for, and that may even be psychosomatic (all in your head). This is largely a result of the proliferation of wireless devices combined with confirmation bias. They get a headache and look for a cell phone or GPS to blame it on, find it, and use that as confirmation that the cell phone or GPS caused it. It would be just as valid to blame it on wearing clothes, being in contact with Earth's atmosphere or blinking.

The reality is this kind of radiation is safe. The energy level is much too low to damage cells, except potentially at very close ranges (and even that is contested, with studies turning up nothing conclusive). It's also non-ionizing. There have also been powerful radio towers broadcasting for several decades now.

In short, if there were serious health issues, we'd have seen them by now. The jury is still out on whether or not putting a cell phone antenna next to your brain is a good idea, but research is being done.
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January 27, 2012 11:53:13 AM

ajay_vishvanathanwow.. that cuts the cables.. faster.. safer.. reliable..

Faster? Did you not read the part about how it's much slower than normal WiFi?

Safer? Exactly how?
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January 27, 2012 12:09:15 PM

Are you guys serious? ~15Mbps is plenty fast for almost any necessities. Granted downloading your favorite Torrents will take longer, but you wont see ANY difference loading a webpage on gigabit broadband vs 15Mbps wireless. Their may be a latency issues which is inherent to any wireless system though.
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January 27, 2012 12:15:12 PM

Sigh. More free stuff means less freedom. Like one poster said, it's not free. In Germany, there is a radio and a TV channel that is run by the state and everyone in the country that have a TV and or a radio is taxed every year for them even if you don't watch or listen to their channel. They acctually go from house to house and inspect for anything that will let you watch/listen to their broadcast.
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January 27, 2012 1:11:32 PM

Device UnknownAre you guys serious? ~15Mbps is plenty fast for almost any necessities. Granted downloading your favorite Torrents will take longer, but you wont see ANY difference loading a webpage on gigabit broadband vs 15Mbps wireless. Their may be a latency issues which is inherent to any wireless system though.

I'd be surprised if the 15 Mbps includes overhead. In a wireless network at close range, you lose a pretty large chunk of your speed due to retransmits and such because the packets got garbled. With something this spread out and saturated, I'd guess you'll drop even lower.

Realistically, you'd get something like 5 megabits out of this, I think. Which is plenty fast for browsing the web, but fairly lacking if you need to download large files. There are plenty of totally legitimate reasons to download large things that don't involve piracy, either.

I download a few dozen gigabytes each month for various open source projects and even stuff like Windows. MSDNAA account is still active, years after I graduated college, so I make sure to download each new release of Windows they add to stock up on the free product keys. This doesn't even touch on stuff like Netflix or Steam, which people probably shouldn't be trying to use on this kind of network but will anyway.

I'm looking at this as a stepping stone to something better. It's a great start, but we're going to need more bandwidth to get this anywhere even comparable to the average broadband connection these days, especially during peak hours.
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January 27, 2012 1:49:32 PM

sounds alot like the sonic radar in batman

always keep in mind, your government is not your friend
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January 27, 2012 2:05:16 PM

wooodoggiesalways keep in mind, your government is not your friend

Always keep in mind, you use countless government services every day that would not exist without big bad Big Brother.

The rampant anti-government mindset in America always makes me chuckle.

"The government is bad! Never mind that I'm using a communication medium developed by the government which operates on infrastructure subsidized by the government built by people driving trucks on roads built by the government. All that stuff is BAD!"
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January 27, 2012 5:01:02 PM

Considering this is just an initial public deployment that's not all that bad. And as far as someone complaining 10-15mbps is bad. Consider the fact that if they role it out nationwide there are still Many people who don't even have access to basic 1-3mpbs broadband. And I don't count wireless 3g as that's been capped. Let alone people who are only able to get or afford dial up.

Also consider that depending on where you are, a lot of cable companies don't even offer those kinds of speeds. Or they want to charge an arm and a leg for it.
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January 27, 2012 6:41:39 PM

Do we really need internet access and big brother everywhere we go ?

The last thing we need is more internet/text junkies mindlessly walking/driving about.

I love computers /tech but there comes a time when the user should log off and log on to life.

Who's for a cell phone wacking day ! ??

pEACe
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January 27, 2012 9:22:56 PM

I'll still keep my home internet because I like my 30Mbps and ability to control my own security, but I'll certainly say goodbye to any phone data plans. Heck, I can pay $20/yr and get unlimited Skype calling. Now THAT would be awesome, and IMO is the biggest upside to WiFi everywhere. No more getting it up the butt from Verizon.
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Anonymous
January 27, 2012 9:34:10 PM

Did anyone think how much of an impact this would make to competing industries? I really can't see this going through

Everyone needs internet and a phone. Its become a necessity; a monthly bill for a majority of americans, and speed-wise, 10 mbps will suffice for everyone but techies and gamers (I assume the latency would be poor). You can check your email, you can make voip calls, you can send messages, you can stream music and hd video.

Independent companies will market devices that use this service, making subscriptions to cell phone/tv/isp's non-essential.

The cell phone and internet provider (COMCAST) industry heavily relies on those monthly bills. They will go the path of American Online if they didn't get them.

As much as I would like to see this happen, the big name companies will fight this, even if it means getting dirty with lobbyists, or what not
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January 27, 2012 10:09:58 PM

Will we see rabbit ears make a come back?
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January 28, 2012 3:50:33 AM

I would very much like to see an extensive, free wireless internet connection throughout the States but I can't see any ISP or cell phone company allowing this to happen.

For everyone complaining about 10-15Mb/s please realize that something like half of the country probably still uses dial up so at best they get 56K... Even 5Mb/s, if that's as good as this will usually get, is more than enough for most internet usage besides download/uploading gigabytes of files and other bandwidth hogging applications. Besides, this is an experimental system so it may be improved sooner or later.
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February 1, 2012 4:55:40 PM

I download 7+ gb files at 300 kb/s IF I'M LUCKY. Nary a clue what you fellows are betching about..
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February 2, 2012 1:49:24 AM

Infrastructure signals should be received with much better quality.
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!