With new acronyms (NGN) being introduced instead of better service (ADSL that actually gives the 2 mbps or 512 kbps we paid for), our thoughts had begun to wander to WiMax, but sadly, cold water is being poured on that hope too.
On continuing discussion of municipal wireless there is a great quote in here: ‘Using municipal Wi-Fi for residential coverage, [Sanjit Biswas] said, was “the
equivalent of expecting street lamps to light everyone’s homes.” ‘
WiMax, which will be a high-power version of the tower approach, comes in two flavors: mobile, which has not yet been certified, and fixed, which is theoretically well suited for residential deployment. Unfortunately, it’s pricey. Peter Bell, a research analyst at TeleGeography Research in Washington, said fixed WiMax would not be able to compete against cable and DSL service: “It makes more economic sense in semirural areas that have no broadband coverage.”
An intriguingly inexpensive alternative has appeared: a Wi-Fi network that is not top-down but rather ground-level, peer-to-peer. It relies not on $3,500 radio transmitters perched on street lamps by professional installers but instead on $50 boxes that serve, depending upon population density, more than one household and can be installed by anyone with the ease of plugging in a toaster.