The New York Times gives some pretty glowing coverage in its Circuits section to the Junxion Box, which is basically a Wi-Fi access point that uses the cellular data network for backhaul via a standard PC data card. It's a great idea that extends the usefulness of high-speed data networks -- but at least one carrier isn't happy about it. A Verizon Wireless spokesman says "It verifies how cool and how important our network is," but also, "The premise is one person buys an air card and one person uses the service, not an entire neighborhood." So, somebody comes up with something cool that enhances the value of their network... and they want to shut it down. It reeks of Verizon's old-school Ma Bell thinking, whereas Cingular says it's evaluating the product and might actually sell it in the future, and is trying to figure out an appropriate pricing model. But for some users of the Junxion Box, pricing is the issue: Willie Nelson's road crew has the devices in their tour buses so the Red-Headed Stranger can check his email and surf the Web when he's on the road (again), and his tour manager makes the point that there was no way the entire group would stump up for 22 separate accounts, but they'll gladly pay for 6 -- highlighting the folly of the $80 rule.
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