Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Shedding some light on Public WiFi

Scotland once again rises as developers of great technology (OK so it's been a while since the TV but what the hey). This article from the BBC highlights the basic idea of using lampposts in Dundee to provide WiFi.

I think there is a gap here in that the system uses solar power. I think it would be a great use of BPL (Broadband over Power Lines) as all of the lampposts are already plugged in to the power grid anyway.

I'm currently in Taiwan where WiFi is prolific, in fact in Hotels it's free. I don't know how sustainable this will be as people like me using Skype over the free WiFi must be starting to eat into the revenue stream of calling out of the hotel, but it's great while it lasts. Especially given Paul Jardine's recent problems in Portugal. Still even here in Taipei there are nowhere near close to getting some sort of public network and like in many major cities around the world space is at a premium.

Something like the Internet Lamppost could really accelerate public WiFi and Muni-Net initiatives as it's already wired into the infrastructure, couple this with BPL and you've got Public WiFi in a box.

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