St. Cloud Sees Muni-WiFi Woes

from the wonky-wireless dept

St. Cloud, Florida, has attracted some attention for being the first place in the US to roll out free citywide WiFi service. One month in, the city of 28,000's 15-square-mile network is hitting some road bumps, with users complaining about dead spots and weak signal strength. It's only been a month, so it's still too early to condemn the network, but the tale does serve as a reminder that despite all the hype surrounding citywide WiFi, it remains something of an unproven commodity, both technically and financially. Municipal WiFi is a compelling idea that offers lots of benefits beyond just simple internet access. But the hype surrounding it is deafening, and it's pretty obvious that these networks are going to have some teething pains, and it's going to be a while -- if ever -- before they deliver all their promised benefits.

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  1. identicon
    doug linman, 25 Apr 2007 @ 2:30pm

    Re: WIFI MUNI Networks

    There have been more failures in standing up wireless networks that first time successes. WE have researched about 60 of the known 280 thus far, and what we have found is that basic front end engineering has been forgotten.

    Architecture planning has been replaced with hyperactive buying and installing of equipment then making it work. In any structure, you must stick with the basics--network architecture planning first, layout basic drawings, then perform the RF study, confirm your mathematics and frequency selections, plan your installation with your master controllers in place first-then antennas and access points- accomplish it in short phases- so if a problem arises you know when it happened and where.

    Following these simple matters and always starting out with your planned architecture will provide you a much higher level of success the first time. Our firm came from working disaster networks first where everything had to be pre-planned because the field implementation was immediate and expected to work 100% the first time. Good networking!

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