Running The Distance
One of Wi-Fi’s greatest limitations is its range. It’s designed to work great around the house or office but getting it beyond that is pretty much a hack. Yet there are number of folks working on extending the range of Wi-Fi so that it may be used to solve the last-mile issue to deploy affordable broadband. The New York Times writes about two entrepreneurs who have modified the Wi-Fi standard to create a low cost repeater that extends the range of a Wi-Fi network up to 20 miles at 2Mb/s, which is enough to give DSL a run for its money. The key advantage to using Wi-Fi is that the cost of building a Wi-Fi based network is incredibly low since there are no spectrum costs. The risk of course is that the Wi-Fi band is getting very crowded.