This morning I was at a really great panel discussion on “The Growth of Wireless Internet : From Community to Municipal to Corporate,” which featured several leading experts and activists in the field of community wireless:
- Dharma Dailey, Ethos Group (moderator)
- Michael Calabrese, New America Foundation
- Harold Feld, Media Access Project
- Michael Lewis, Wireless Harlem Initiative (You can download his Powerpoint presentation here.)
- Sascha Meinrath, Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network (Powerpoint presentation)
My computer died mid-session, so I wasn’t able to take very detailed notes. But after the jump you will find a list of resources and some of my notes. Also, Sascha and Michael Lewis promised to get me links to their powerpoint presentations later.
Community Wireless Resources
Ethos Group http://ethoswireless.com/
Center for Public Integrity http://www.publicintegrity.org
Media Access Project http://www.mediaaccess.org/
Wireless Harlem Initiative http://www.wirelessharlem.org/ , Powerpoint presentation of initiative
New America Foundation http://www.newamerica.net/
CUWIN Cuwin.net, Powerpoint presentation about projects
Wireless Summit Wirelesssummit.org
Net Neutrality Savetheinternet.com
Other Wireless Resources:
Michael Calabrese, New America Foundation
Good news: There has been a boom in community wireless broadband – we’re winning.
Grown of community wifi:
- from wifi hotspots, to zones, cities, regions, and states.
- Zones – university campuses, parks
- Municipal – Champaign Urbana, Philly
- Multi-county – Long Island, Vermont, New Hampshire
- 250 municipal and county-wide that have been deployed
- 4,000-6,000 WISPs – wireless internet service providers
3 public interest issues from community wifi:
- Digital inclusion: affordable access to broadband is going to determine business, cultural, educational future of communities
- Can preserve net neutrality – puts pressure on wireline duopoly and cell internet services
- Benefits of pervasive connectivity – ubiquitous access.
Two main barriers:
- Access to the airwaves
- The guarantee that networks can be made public
Open Spectrum Policy
- wireless networks exist within unlicensed spectrum
- opening up the spectrum would make wireless networks cheaper and better quality
- municipal and community networks won’t scale if they are limited to the current “junk band”
- Meanwhile TV band is sitting mostly unused. Broadcasters have access to 48 channels. Most markets use only 7 channels.
- We need people to sound off on this issue with the FCC, showing that they would use these TV "white space" bands. It’s docket number 04-186 on FCC agenda. (Link to e-file your comment.)
Technorati Tag: NCMR2007