Murrel. Org

Updated 06/27/2006

Welcome to Murrel.Org Wireless

In tracking down information for Peoria Wireless, it became obvious that there was no central place to get information about wireless activity that we could use in our investigations. This then is an attempt to locate and consolidate those stories and announcements in one place for easy and convenient access.

Thanks for looking!

Wi-Fi Planet June 28 2006: WiMax Briefs

A survey article that updates the status of WIMax equipment vendors. This includes equipment that provides Wi-Fi hot spots with Wi-Max backhaul.


Wi-Fi Net News June 28 2006: Municipal Round-Up

Oklahoma City (Okla.), Corpus Christi (Tex.), Rhode Island, Lebanon (Ore.), KCI (Mo.) ... OC is issuing an RFP, CC wants Earth Link to do it for them, KC airport access is now free.


Murrel June 27 2006: Deploying Citywide Wi-Fi Networks

Today we attended a conference in Oak Brook presented by the State of Illinois on Deploying Citywide Wi-Fi Networks. It was essentially a celabratory event for the folks that put the Aurora wireless program together that gave us the opportunity to hear from the city, the WISP, the radio manufacturer and the consultants who helped Aurora put the thing together.


Yahoo June 27 2006: Intel Announces WiMax Chips

Intel has big plans - will combine the "fixed" and "mobile" chips into one single chip. Other plans include a chip with BOTH Wi-Fi AND Wi-Max capability. In addition, they plan to push the price point for Wi-Max under $50. If these come to pass, users will have a smooth upgrade path from Wi-Fi to Wi-Max.

By the end of the year, Intel plans to introduce a single-chip radio called Ofer-R, which supports both WiFi and WiMax. A PowerPoint presentation touting Intel's WiFi/WiMax integration plans shows a parade of devices -- including a camera and an iPod. Clearly Intel's vision for WiMax is data and not VOIP ... "We have a target. We would ultimately like to see WiMax modems get below $50. You hit that mark and magic things happen."


Muni Wireless June 27 2006: Baltimore to Issue RFI

The heading says it all.


Wi-Fi Net News June 25 2006: Municipal Round-Up

Naperville (Ill.), West Covina Buses (Calif.), Pleasanton (Calif.) ... Expansion plans - from Aurora to Naperville, along a bus line and from downtown outward ... the most interesting is the bus line which plans to use EVDO, most likely from Sprint - to offer free Wi-Fi to it's riders.


802.16 News June 23 2006: Breezemax WiMAX Certified

Certification means that a WiMAX device complies with the IEEE 802.16 and ETSI HiperMAN standards based on 100% success in a series of authorized WiMAX Forum interoperability tests. The WiMAX Forum is an industry-led, non-profit corporation formed to help promote and certify the compatibility and interoperability of broadband wireless products using the IEEE 802.16 and ETSI HiperMAN wireless MAN specifications.

Network World June 23 2006: Muni Wi-Fi Teething Pains or Terminal Symptoms?

A summary of all the anti-chaska buzz that's hit over the last month.

Wi-Fi Planet June 23 2006: Advice for Cities Considering Wireless

An interview with Craig Settles, Muni Wireless guru. A great discussion of planning and preparation. A rather lengthy article, it discusses everything from focus groups to planning to business model to topology to mix of wireless protocols. A good read.

Cities have to find out not only if citizens - residential and business - are actually going to use the network, but also for what purposes. "Unless we get out of the mode of 'press release deployment' - that it's got to be 'this kind of network' and 'it's got to be free' - the end users and the business community will get screwed," Settles says. "That's the bottom line."

Wi-Fi Net News June 23 2006: Metro-Scale Wi-Fi as Ultimate Backup

The thought that the local air is the biggest advantage of a wireless network is not new, however, this article points out one solid application.

Milwaukee Business Journal June 23 2006: Milwaukee Burb Launches Pilot

Announcing the launching of a new pilot - something we'd like to think will happen here someday soon. Strawberries anyone?

The network is expected to be established by June 24, the first day of the city's two-day Strawberry Festival.

Muni Wireless June 23 2006: Chaska Results, Not Lipstick

A retort from the president of Tropos that reminds us of the successes that Chaska has enjoyed. It gets a little personal though. But if you like your high tech flame war, just read the comments.

Wired June 23 2006: Earthlink Unwires Anaheim for $22/Month

A discussion of finances and promise for Earthlink's rollout. Typical Wired article - long on puff and the "human element" but short on technical information.

Wi-Fi Net News June 22 2006: Muni Wireless Silicon Valley '06 Conference

This review of Muni topics laments the press failure to discuss important topics from the conference and instead spend it's ink on Google and privacy fears.

Tech Dirt June 21 2006: Theft of Free Wi-Fi Services

Are you liable if someone does something illegal on your WiFi and (the big one) whether or not it's illegal to use someone else's WiFi. The focal point is the arrest of someone who used "Free Wi-Fi" from the parking lot of an establishment instead of going inside and buying a cup of coffee - he was charged with theft of service.

Wi-Fi Net News June 21 2006: Muni Wireless Silicon Valley '06 Conference

This review of Muni topics has a much more positive point of view. It asks what metrics should determine the success or failure of a muni-wifi rollout.

Mercury News June 21 2006: Muni Wireless Silicon Valley '06 Conference

This review of Muni topics discusses Chaska & St Cloud and warns about backlash if hype exceeds customer experience - something I've mentioned before. Also mentioned is MetroFi's apparant lack of success.

Tech Dirt June 20 2006: How The Telcos Screwed Everyone

This short synopsis covers the high points from the new book by Bruce Kushnick. It lays out all the details for how the telcos were granted all sorts of subsidies and benefits in exchange for promising to delivering high speed fiber to our homes. This summary is a must read if you want to understand how the Internet got to where it is now.

Download of this book is free for a limited time.

Tech Dirt June 20 2006: Atlanta Wireless Out for Bids

Atlanta is 132 square miles with 425,000 citizens, and, the RFP notes, a daytime population of 675,000. It's a bit larger than Peoria.

The RFP defines network infrastructure. A first tier must use 802.11g; that tier must be backhauled via fixed point-to-multipoint (i.e., WiMax or the like); that tier is aggregated via fixed point-to-point over licensed spectrum; then that carried to a high-speed POP. This is what EarthLink is building for its networks.

Wi-Fi Net News June 19 2006: Municipal Round-Up

Foster City (Calif.), Lompoc (Calif.), Farmers Branch (Tex.), Longmont (Colo.) ... Nothing to get excited about here. Most of these cities are much smaller than Peoria ... most of these cities are trying wireless mesh systems connecting from the tops of light poles.

The 802.11 wireless mesh is a sure loser wherever it's tried. Why? 1) It's expensive (count the number of radios required - and these cities are all 3 to 12 square miles!) 2) low throughput - everyone is really sharing the total bandwidth, and how many lightpoles do you really need to transit before reaching a backhaul? 3) robustness (or lack thereof) - redundancy requires even more radios 4) scalability - there are no advantages of scale other than quantity discounts on the number of radios purchased.

Tech Dirt June 19 2006: Just Take The Networks Away From The Telcos

Judge Harold Green long ago made the fatal decision which plagues Internet communications today - when he split up AT&T in 1982, he did it vertically, creating 7 local monopolies. Aside of splitting out long distance (which was a big thing at the time, but no longer), he didn't change the landscape one bit. Ameritech/SBC/AT&T all in turn have continued to run roughshod over Illinois communication users.

If he had seen the wisdom of seperating the networks from the resellers, competitors would all have an equal footing and real competition could be enjoyed by all. Instead, the telcos first killed off the independent ISPs who really created the Internet revolution by bringing $20 dialup to the public in 1995 and then engaged in an orgy of consolidation to the point that we are almost back where we started. And as far as cable v DSL, since when has competition between two public monopolies been competition. The ISPs would have brought DSL to the public in 1995 if the telcos would have sold them alarm lines.

But I am starting to ramble here - I know too much about this topic to be reasonable.

WiMax Networking News June 18 2006: IEEE Suspends 802.20 Working Group

802.20 is Ultraband Wireless - the only true non-proprietary competitor to Wi-Max and it seems to have fallen prey to wireless politics. It has some advantages, especially penetration. But it's not as far along and the technology, at least to me, seems to be a few years out yet.

Broadband Wireless June 17 2006: Deliver WiMAX to Windows PCs

Polonix Corporation announced general availability of the world's first WiMAX PCI card for personal computers (PCs) that run a Microsoft Windows operating system. The cards deliver direct access to WiMAX broadband Internet/Network services.

Yes, they're coming, but remember it's the scout (early adapter) who winds up with the arrows in his back.

Wi-Fi Planet June 15 2006: Too Soon, Too Little for 802.11n?

Well, pre-n actually. There are questions about the pre-n gear in terms of range, throughput and, of course, compatibility. With the standard yet to be approved by IEEE, and past broken promises of future compatibility still ringing in our ears, it somehow doesn't seem surprising.

TechDirt June 14 2006: Putting A Little Lipstick On Muni WiFi

And another one bites the dust. This time the discussion is about in tiny Chaska, MN.

There seems to be a pattern here - community leaders puffing wireless beyond is technical capability and then falling to earth once the system is installed. The lesson is simple, match the wireless topology and technology to the problem and keep the promises to a minimum.

I once had a manager who's motto was "no surprises". Personally I'd prefer "no unpleasant surprises". If a community decides to exclusively utilize Wi-Fi for a community network - there will be unpleasant surprises.

The only serious choice is to build Wi-Fi hotspots and a WiMax backbone and wait for technology to catch up. And it's coming. Probably as fast as we move - by 2007 or so. At that time WiMax cards will be avaiable for your laptop and wireless community broadband becomes possible.

So, our question is, again, how will it play in Peoria?

Newsweek June 7 2006: Hi-Fi Fever

Hundreds of cities are planning municipal wireless networks with free Internet access. Newsweek asks:

can the technology match the expectations? An even bigger question is whether such networks will actually work as advertised.

Newsweek once again picks on the St.Cloud MN project which did a surprisingly good job technically but a poor job at setting community expectations. Our question, of course, is how will it play in Peoria?

Building Wireless Community Networks

Building Wireless Community Networks offers a compelling case for building wireless networks on a local level: They are inexpensive, and they can be implemented and managed by the community using them, whether it's a school, a neighborhood, or a small business. This book also provides all the necessary information for planning a network, getting the necessary components, and understanding protocols that you need to design and implement your network.