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Alternative Wireless Broadband for your Neighborhood 113

An anonymous reader writes "TelephonyOnline reports Motorola has announced a new line of 5GHz *unlicensed* Wireless Broadband point to multi-point solution with a 2 mile range called Canopy. Pricing may allow neighborhoods to gang up and be their own ISP."
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Alternative Wireless Broadband for your Neighborhood

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  • The last mile has been one of the biggest barriers to more widespread broadband adoption so something like this would be great. The only question is where does the bandwidth to the rest of the Net come form?
    • Indeed - this is the first item ever posted on slashdot which could truly fix the last-mile problem.
    • Probably would still have to lease a T1 or greater from a data carrier to feed the network. Just depends on the amount of users.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    nice headline!

    And, indeed use some help with the last mile towards our neighbor-ho!

    (and the requisite)

    Imagine a beowolf cluster of those!

  • Depending on the price, a 2-mile radius may or may not exactly be the greatest thing in the world.
    • A 2-mile raduis wouldn't get us very far in Perth (Western Australia) with the kind of (low) population density we have. Bummer, the price we have to pay for the best lifestyle in the world... :-)
    • Pricing is on the site.

      $30G for 200 connections. I think point to point (20 mile connection) was about $1000, as well (check it yourself).
    • Having used both Canopy and Breezecom hardware, Canopy wins hands down. I am about 2 miles away from a site, and I still get 99% downlink and uplink efficiency... it is FAST. Very fast.

      Not to mention the unit is about the size of a shoe (unlike the home-base sized Breezecom stuff), gets power over ethernet, and has a nice web interface.

      For what it does, it is very cheap.
  • My neighborho has had such an awful time communicating recently, she's always being late to appointments and such. The John Does are getting angrier and angrier.
  • by tapiwa ( 52055 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @07:04AM (#3813202) Homepage
    With the everincreasing range of wireless, especially over the *free* spectrum, will we see the end of ip over telephony.

    Taken to the extreme, if each 'neighbourhood' is running high speed ip over wireless, and is peering with its neighbours, then the world becomes a true web. Why connect via maBell and pay $$$ lots, when these local wireless networks grow and peer to a level where xx% of your ip traffic can be routed without ever going via the major backbone providers?

    • With the everincreasing range of wireless, especially over the *free* spectrum, will we see the end of ip over telephony.

      yup, it's a free spectrum. that means that your device cannot interfere with licensed users of the spectrum, and that it must accept all interference. so if some duly licensed hams decide they want to party all night on your wavelength then it's just too bad for your neighborhood's net connection.

      i like wifi et al as auxiliary coverage, and it's great to find friendly public nodes in parks and cafes and such... i wouldn't want to totally unwire, however, until i had some guarantees that a hamtv or over-extended cordless phone wouldn't leave me cut-off.

      we need our *own* spectrum, specific to wireless networking, without other significant forms of accidental interference. the us govt (sorry, international readership) gives enough spectrum up to the corps... why not designate a chunk for an open wireless space?

    • by warpSpeed ( 67927 ) <> on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @09:00AM (#3813550) Homepage Journal
      ... and is peering with its neighbours

      This is a great idea in theory. However if you look at the real Internet there are a handful of major backbone providers due to the fact that it makes sence to aggrigate your traffic to a few major pipes them many multiple smaller pipes.

      Chances are that if something like this were to pop up in several ajacent networks the users on the networks would be interested in getting to the outside world, not the next neighbourhood over.

      You would still need at least one point of entery to the net, and if you wanted multiple points you would most likley need and AS number, and largish, expnsive routers.

      The single biggest obstical is the cost of the equipment, and even more so, the skills set required to configure and maintain the network.

      I have had dreams about setting something like this up, but the amount of time to maintain it is too high. When you can get a better routing protocol, cheaper equipement, I can see it taking off. But it is a little ways away, except for the volunteer efforts by some dedicated geeks out there.


    • The problem with this concept of interconnected neighborhoods is that every current wireless system is designed with a fast downlink, and slow uplink. I recently attended a talk from the leader of the World Wireless Forum, and this isn't changing any time soon.

      And this is exactly what is turning the net over to the media conglomerates. Sure, everyone can get ON the net.....but it is increasingly difficult/expensive for the commmon man/woman to actually _serve_ content.

      I really don't see the point of having every appliance in the world wired and receiving information, if none of them can communicate back at more than a snail's pace. Which is why your suggestion of neighborhood-to-neighborhood routing isn't feasible. There's nothing in TCP/IP stopping this from happenning, in theory, but all the content is on the backbones.

      Until someone markets a good, cheap, uplink solution, the neighborhoods will still be slaves to the wire.
      • Until someone markets a good, cheap, uplink solution, the neighborhoods will still be slaves to the wire.

        Which brings up yet another problem that even us slaves to the wire have. That is TOS agreements that prevent people from running any type of server on a broadband connection (usually cable but DSL as well). So even though I've got the pipe I can't send much of anything up it.

        ADSL additionally has the problem that even if you are allowed to serve from your DSL line, upstream speeds are usually 1/8 - 1/4 of the downstream making serving anything more than a family/friends page an exercise in futility.

    • In theory you could connect the whole of America up using peer-peer wireless. In practice, the bandwidth of fiber is so astonishingly high (maybe 100 Terabits/sec), and the thirst for bandwidth is high enough, that the wireless isn't going to be enough to form a backbone. It would be like trying to connect America up with roads, without using any freeways. Sure, you could do it, in theory; in practice I'm sure it wouldn't work.
  • Actual article URL (Score:5, Informative)

    by herrlich_98 ( 267669 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @07:04AM (#3813203)
    Actual Article URL []

    None of the links in the base topic is actually to the article.

  • So how long until this band is overflowing? Others already maybe using this band for other things, and with two miles of coverage, in larger citys, how many overlaps are there going to be?
  • "Pricing may allow neighborhoods to gang up and be their own ISP." That is not very likely for those of us who live among people who can't seem to keep shirts on or stop drinking beer.
  • I don't see what the advantage of his is for people who live in areas that have access to cable or dsl. Its wireless but not for the end user. Its wireless all the way to your house and thats it, you can't pcmcia cards for it or anything. You still have to get your own little wireless network in your home.

    I think this would only really be good for last mile areas and maybe in high rise buildings that can't afford the wiring.
    • This is also good for places where the local teleco wont give access to the local loop
      Check out CorkWAN []
      • Or areas like mine (Minneapolis area), where my options are this:
        Dynamic IP.
        640/128 ADSL through Qwest or Covad, or AT cable modem that just reduced upload to 128 and averages about 700-800, off-peak (suggesting pretty good saturation, since it supposedly tops out at 3Gbps).

        Yes, I can get a static IP through a couple of companies that use Qwest or Covad lines, but all of them require a business contract with pricing starting at $85/month or more (the $85 had metered bandwidth charges, as well, so if I down/upload more than a certain amount, I pay extra), which means I'd pay $25/month more than having a dynamic IP.

        SDSL from another CO is available, as well, starting at $150/month for 128/128 (no thanks).

        My CO has roughly 40000 customers, mostly within the 5 mile radius DSL uses, but since Northpoint's bankruptcy, my residential options have dropped to near nothing. I have 100 choices for telephone and 2 for DSL (138, to be exact, according to CO documents I looked up online, but I'm sure some of these aren't active).

        There are only two things I can think of:
        1) I live in a 'dead zone' with not enough businesses for most ISPs, so very little service is available in the area.
        2) I live in a 'dead zone' where a lot of extra equipment needs to be installed to allow DSL connections (Northpoint did it, so I know it's possible...).

        I am seriously considering starting a company, or if that fails, work with an existing company, to fix this. I know of two other (non-contiguous)suburbs that also get inadequate service and have demand, even to the extent of getting newspaper coverage about the lack of service and demand for it, but I need to know what my options are for providing this service, and the limitations of the COs involved, as well as where to get the capital I'd need.
    • The main thing, in a nutshell, is this gives ISP's a way to get to people's homes without the help of a cable provider or telco, necessarily. It threatens to hugely increase the competitive players in the home broadband market.

      I agree with the people above who don't see neighborhoods banding together to be their own ISP. It's too much work.
  • Neighbors getting together for a neigborhood [] ISP! I'm still laughing. Jeez, here in the States, most neighbors don't even know each other's name, and, if they do, they probably can't stand each. Just take a look at the Relationship to Victim column in this Supplementary Homicide Report [] from Texas. I know this is a cynical attitude to take, and, luckily, this is not my situation. There's nothing better than standing on my neighbor's front lawn drinking can after can of cheap beer [] on a hot summer evening. But everyone on my block are AOLers. 8-(
  • The article doesn't say.

    Motorola's docs don't seem to mention the wireless protocol either. Plugs in to a LAN though on the wired side.

    Looks handy for ISPs though.

  • by teaserX ( 252970 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @07:31AM (#3813255) Homepage Journal

    So let me get this straight. 6 APs supporting 1200 total users (assume residences) for $30k. That's only $25. Oh then there's the Customer Terminal Equipment at $515 a pop and a license at $28.95 ea and bandwith to feed your back haul...

    Your talkin AT LEAST $650,000 to set this up for a neighborho(ood). That works out to around $540 per household assuming evreyone in the coverage area gets on board. I guess that's not bad if you amortize it over the year (or two). But what kind of freaky geek commune are you going to find that needs 1200 BB connections in a two mile radius?

    • by Innomi ( 566928 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2002 @07:37AM (#3813267)
      > But what kind of freaky geek commune are you going to find that needs 1200 BB connections in a two mile radius?

    • But what kind of freaky geek commune are you going to find that needs 1200 BB connections in a two mile radius?

      Cmon people, use your imaginations. You know that wireless is going to hit big, sooner or later. You know that there is a big "last mile" problem. How long before motorola works this out so that you CAN get wireless NICs and PCMCIA cards. Then you buy a list of all the people within a 2 mile radius of your house (I believe that you can get this from your Post Office) and mass mail say three hundred neighbors and friends in the area offering to set up a neighborhood net co-op and they can buy in for some amount. At this point I have to admit that I am not a business major so I dunno shit about the economics. But I am a techy and I know that this is a bigger story than it appears to be at this moment. These devices are probably going to be what brings broadband to the masses. Maybe give em a version or two to work out the kinks but the other guys are going to be copying this and wishing they'd engineered it first. Video on demand anyone?

      • and let me add... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Amizell ( 565760 )
        5200 SM - Canopy Subscriber Module

        Measures 11.75" X 3.4" X 3.4"
        Single cable - standard RJ45, 8-pin Ethernet
        Simple indoor AC adapter

        This is the spec on the box that the user has to have in his home. Small isn't it? Couldn't it be a lot smaller in a short amount of time?

        • Smaller isn't always better. In this case, much of the subscriber module is an antenna. Smaller antennas have less gain, so the range would be worse. The actual electronics probably fit into a small box inside the subscriber module.
          • Cell phones used to be much bigger but they still work as well (or better probably) now than they did due to better protocols and engineering over time. Wouldn't you expect the same here? Maybe what they'll end up with is a subscriber module that is both a medium power receiver and a low power transmitter in one.


    • This one [] IS cost effective.

      And much more funny to set up.
      • Look. Can you see AT or whoever is your telephone company donwloading the plans, going out and getting the bits and telling it's staff to build these?

        No. They want a completed product supported by a reputable company that they can rely on to fix problems when they happen.

        So, *you* have to set up a company to build, market and sell them if you want to see them around in the market place.

        • Can you see AT or whoever is your telephone company donwloading the plans, going out and getting the bits and telling it's staff to build these?

          No. Absolutelly NOT.

          I'm a /. reader, I don't ask people to build, I build it myself.
    • How much does it cost to lay a cable to 1200 people? It's also 10Mbit both ways.

      Against 802.11b it isn't quite so hot, but it's a *turnkey solution* to the last mile problem where you'll probably have to roll a whole load of your own software and hardware out of 802.11b kit. Plus it'll get cheaper with negotiation and time.

      Basically they've taken a leaf from the 802.11b book and put it in the telco space. For the telcos, it's a cheap turnkey solution to the last mile problem.

    • Or (amortized over 20 years), perhaps $4/month. Telecomm companies do this all the time; the amortization used to be 40 years. The prices sound to me fairly good for telecomm equipment; I think you're just surprised because you've never seen them before; when I consider that underground cable cost about $5/foot (fully allocated) in the 1980s, it's cheap.

      Geek commune, nothing. Try, poor neighborhood or third-world city. Use IP voice terminals (telephones) as well as data terminals. Data and voice for a fraction of the cost of wiring the place--I think they've got a winner here.

    • But what kind of freaky geek commune are you going to find that needs 1200 BB connections in a two mile radius?

      I donno, but I would hope the FBI/ATF would "take care" of such a cult, like they did in Waco and Ruby Ridge.
      • Come on. That's not fair! They're just little guys getting together and doing their stuff out in the sticks.

        Oh, wait, I forgot the Branch Davidians were incorporating Islam into Christianity and Ruby Ridge was populated by neoNazis.

        Thank God for the FBI!

    • For an ISP, yes. Especially when you consider an outfit that is willing to go into an exclusivity agreement with them will probably get another 20-30% slashed of the prices.

      A few words on the technology, from what I read on their site. The modulation is BFSK (Binary Frequency Shift Keying) which is one of many different methods to implement frequency hopping spread spectrum and direct sequence spread spectrum. Unfortunately they don't delve into any details into the method they use.

      Since it is spread spectrum, other units (not colocated) will not directly interfere. Spread spectrum signals look like wideband noise to other receivers that do not have the same hopping pattern. Activating one of these units will raise the noise floor in the LOS of it's signal.

      If the equipment uses DSSS, well, that's ok, but not too exciting. DSSS has a problem with interference with other DSSS radios, and manifests itself by a sharp drop in bandwidth. If in the other hand this is using FHSS, then awesome. The only interference will be an increase in noise floor, which can be absorbed with a good enough link margin.

      Link margin is what counts here. Several people have already mentioned questionable reliability as a mark against these technologies. That is simply not a problem with a properly margined link. In a wireless link, several factors affect your reception (and ultimately bandwidth and reliability). You will have signal losses in the feed cables, signal gains at the antenna, and signal losses due to free space propagation. Yes, rain and other atmospheric conditions do raise the term used in calculating free space losses at these frequencies.

      Now, by a properly margined link, here is what I mean. Take the amount of power going out of one unit into its feeder cable, add the gains for the antenna on each end, subtract maximal expected freespace propagation loss. Now, based on your equipments specified signal to noise ratio (SNR) you can find the minimal power your receiver needs to decode the signal. Subtract it from the previous number, and you have a link margin. A higher link margin is a better link. What this measures is the "additional" power above and beyond what the receiver needs to pickup the signal. As long as this margin is enough to cover things like unusual atmospheric conditions, and nearby band interferers, you have a good, reliable link.

      Finally, back to cost. These prices are decent for a local ISP exactly because of amortization. Think like cable companies that lease you the cable modem for a few dollars a month. If you disconnect your service, they get the unit back and can redeploy it. Next, focus on business users before the residential ones. Business customers are more willing to purchase equipment outright, instead of paying a lease amount (at least in my experience). This lets you concentrate your tiny pile of cash on building the POP end of the network, instead of footing the bill for each customer premise unit.

      Yeah... I used to do this for a living. Headed the engineering department for a midsized wireless ISP that used technology like this. My email is listed if anyone has any questions.


  • This is great news for hackers! With all those security patches, it is getting harder and harder to find those bugs and exploits. (micro$oft products excluded). Some described the 'drive by hack' as driving with your car through a city, scanning the wireless networks (extending outside the house). Now the network is comming to you. Just park your car in some business area and you can scan/hack all of the networks within a 2 mile radius.
    FLT, not just any theorem.
  • Laws? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Komarosu ( 538875 )
    Yes maybe unlicensed over in the states, but does it apply to the UK?
  • Hell, my 2.4ghz cordless phone still gets static when I'm in the next room. I'm still somewhat skeptical of wireless internet, it seems your speed would be degraded significantly by small obstacles. I mean, sure, if you're right next to the AP. But what if you're at the outside limit of the range? What if your pc is in a concrete basement? What if there are tons of trees around? etc...
    Someone dispell all of my skepticism please ;)
    • Your mentioning cordless phones brings to mind a question: Would a high number of corrugated iron roofs in the area disrupt this kind of signal? I ask because manufacturers of cordless phones usually mention "tin" roofs as a caveat in their docs here in Australia where that type of construction is very common.
      • Only if they were blocking the line of sight between the transceivers - I guess you could generally avoid this by placing them cunningly.
  • I've heard horror stories about 2.4 ghz wireless with devices like a microwave or 2.4 ghz phone being used at the same time as your internet connection. Granted we wouldn't have that problem off the bat with 5ghz, since there aren't any devices that are using this band, but what happens when everyone and their mother uses the 5ghz band and clogs it like 2.4 can be clogged so eaisly now?

    • I know what you mean. I bought a 2.4 GHz phone to use around the house, and the thing was always getting static when I was any more than a couple feet away from the base. I don't even have a wireless network in my house, or any other 2.4 GHz wireless devices. And I hardly ever use my microwave. Must have been some interference from my neighbors or something, although I find it hard to believe that they have wireless networks. I returned the phone quickly and picked up a 900 MHz phone that works great.
  • Umm, why is this particularly news worthy, it uses same band as 802.11, you can get APs and Customer Premise Equipment for 802.11a/b for just as cheap, if not cheaper, and higher bandwith rates with 802.11a. Hell, the Motorola site is slim on details, they might even be using 802.11a, who knows. Not particularly a big new development of any sorts. People have been doing it for 5+ years with cheap 802.11 equipment and home made antennas.
    • But are those people manufacturing it for the masses? not everyone can build their own setup, but everyone does want broadband... motorola are just trying to fill a market demand.
      • Since when do you have to build your own setup? their are dozens of manafactures of Access points and customer premise equipment that looks exactly like that. One is at , even Cisco makes CPE and AP's. Or try this on for size,, 25grand will get youa system with 30 mile radius, and support 500 users. And the client side of things,, pretty similiar prices, with a ALOT greater range.
        • Re:Not newsworthy (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Salamander ( 33735 )
          their are dozens of manafactures of Access points and customer premise equipment that looks exactly like that

          (1) You meant "there". (2) Looks aren't everything.

          The Musenki system doesn't look at all comparable. As for TechsPlanet, you might want to check your math. The system you reference is designed for 500 users total. The $30K Canopy system includes 6 APs supporting 200 users each for a total of 1200. Also, the 30-mile radius you claim is very highly questionable even with a directional antenna; it's totally out of the question with the antennas specified in the document you linked to. Lastly, both Musenki and TechsPlanet make quite a point of the fact that their installations involve custom design and installation, instead of being out-of-the-box capable.

          You might very well be right that this is not significantly superior to a properly designed 802.11b setup. That ceased to be the point a while ago, if it ever was. The fact of this technology's commoditization is still newsworthy even if similar capabilities were already available in custom form, and your habit of trying to make what might be a valid point with BS and misinformation is simply annoying.

          BTW, "a lot" is two words. Get literate.

          • (1) You meant "there".
            BTW, "a lot" is two words. Get literate.

            Well, thanks for pointing out the errors grammer cop.

            Both examples were just that, examples, not direct comparisons. They serve the same market segment. The CPE equipment is the same price for Tech Planets and Canopy's offering. The Canopy my provide for more users, but at a much smaller range, its a trade off. Canopy is obviously produced in more quantity that Tech Planet's offering, so obviously cost is cheaper, but both solutions essential provide the same offering. The Muesenki and Tech Planet's offering require no more customer design and what not, then designing a wireless system with Canopy. Obviously with either system you have to design where to locate antennas, how to setup your network architecture, its called network design, something that doesnt come out of the box. As far as CPE equipment goes, setup is the same, you take out of box, you plug in, put antenna on roof, make sure you got signal, its like setting up cable tv.

            As far as range goes, Tech Planet is also an ISP in Texas using wireless, and they have quite the range, with speed of tranmission obviously getting slower the further away from the base setup (may get 11Mbit within the first couple miles, and 2 Mbit further away, check their website, they have a map.

            As for as the accuracy of my information, I mearly pointed out their are already very similiar solutions in very simliary price brackets, and pointed URLS to some providers, leaving out the big boys like Lucent/Cisco/3COM that have provided such equipment for a long time. Nothing I said was untrue. Is this equipment any more commoditized then 802.11? I doubt it, it certainly isnt any cheaper.

            The point of my post was simply to show that this is nothing new, there is equivalent equipment, that has been on the market for a while, in the same price bracket. The point of your flame, is beyond me, my point is my point, dont like it, dont respond, Attacking my post was never really necessary, you must be bored it being the last day before July 4th or something. Oh well, Have a nice 4th

    • I'll try to help you answer your own question. What's the range on 802.11b? What's the range on Canopy? Answer those two questions and you should be able to figure out why Canopy might be interesting to people.

      • Range on 802.11 with an antenna like Canopy uses? At least as good as canopy. You can get a good 10-15 miles with a 90degree 15dBi sector attenna which looks like what they are using, even Omni 15dBi's will get you excellent distance. Canopy is only 2miles multipoint, and 20miles point to point, sounds EXACTLY like 802.11 ranges to me. You are confusing your 60dollar wireless cards with 30mW's, with a real 802.11 customer premise setup with an ANTENNA!
        • So basically you're comparing business-grade 802.11b, further enhanced with extra antennas that aren't standard even for that class of equipment, with highly questionable outside-deployment characteristics, vs. Canopy out of the box. That hardly makes your point, and BTW "10-15" doesn't sound EXACTLY [sic] like "20" to me.

          • What are you talking about, Canopy is just as business grade as 802.11 customer premise equipment offered by Lucent,Cisco,3COM,etc... It looks 100% identical, Canopy consist of Access Points, antennas, and all the usually 802.11. It is no different at all, how do you think Canopy gets range, its called an extra antenna plugged into a wireless router (of sorts, whatever you want to call a piece of CPE equipment). Highly Questionable? Its been in use by quite a few wireless isps arround the country, and countless businesses, its not like some hacked together technology. Cisco Aironet product line is the same product offering as Canopy, and has been around for a long time. Both are out of the box, at what point did I say use a pringle can (even though they have been shown to be as effective if not more, than a commercially produced antenna) and a modified dlink card.
  • 5GZ Bandwith is preaty high. Your going to really have to start worrying about rain attenuation, especially in areas like seattle. You will prolly have to have a preaty high gain antenna.
  • I tell you on thing, I live in the stix where the only Broadband available is Satellite. Good for Downloading big files. Right now I have to pay 20 bucks for and ISP and 40 a month for the Sat System. Given I could go with an SR system , but then my ping would get even higher, since I couldn't switch to Landline mode. If anything over 56k (except pricey ISDN) that was all digital became available, I personally would pay to have the setup, 1 better, I would volunteer my house for a relay, so the other peeps could get some BB.
  • The largest advantage I see for something like this i a commercial setup is the install. With Verizon, Qwerst, and the other slow pokes, install time for business DSL make take up to a month.

    With this, it's "we'll have a guy drop it off, we can FedEx it to ya, or you can stop on by and pick the puppy up." Plug it in at your place and you are on!

    For some of the lines we have to provision at work, something like this could be a dream come true. Covad 2.0 may be about to be ma' bell required. Forget the geek LAN option, this has loads of commercial possibilities too.

  • Just remember kiddies, nifty toys like this are likely against your EULA, unless you're paying for the high-dollar package from your phone/cable company. You wouldn't want Time Warner sending you nastygrams too!
  • As a couple people have pointed out, just getting neighbors to talk to one another is a small feat. But, let's just say you get that far -- then what? You've got to pony up a lot of dough for equipment, then someone's got to do system administration.

    You're going to have neighbors bitching at each other over who's sucking up all the bandwidth streaming videos, and so on. Now, this happens to some extent already with cable modems, but when people get bent out of shape with the cable company, they bitch at the cable company, who's better equipped to deal with the bitching than the neighborhood propeller-head.

    Sounds like way more trouble than the typical neighborhood community wants to step up to.
  • There's a company starting to rollout wireless access in the Allen, TX area, and being a geek (and not particularly liking my $80/month DSL bill for 768k/384k (with $15/month for a dedicated pair, 'cause I'm 15.6 kft from the DSLAM)), I looked into it.

    I can get 2 Mbit up/down, synchronous, for something like $40-$50 a month, so it looks interesting. However, I share that bandwidth with all the people in my quadrant, so, like cable modems, if I'm an early adopter, I get great bandwidth, but if it gets popular, there will be times when it gets clogged up.

    Is it worth the $30 extra a month that I'm paying now? Well, I've had few problems, bandwidth is great, and I don't need to worry anout rain fade (ask me about my terrestrial HDTV and DirectTV signals).

    Systems like this probably need bandwidth caps on users, and the ability to support multiple channels in a single quadrant. Remember the days of asking what the user/modem ratio for a dial-up ISP was before chosing one? Same kind of thing.

  • This is line of sight technology, kids. Interference and suceptibility to hacking is far less with LOS, however you lose the cool factor of not having to see the tower.

    This stuff is obviously geared up to people wanting to start an ISP on quite possibly the last frontier of Internet access that is yet to be dominated. I have no idea why the submitter geared this up towards homebrew geek communities. (Editors plz!)

    The hardware sounds great until you realize that unless your customers want to pay at least a $500 start-up fee for their CPE they'll be using, you're going to get killed in hardware costs. Mostly user-end. You expect the APs to cost alot!

    As for the people whining about how this offers no advantage over 802.11a/b, I disagree. Namely, it doesn't use weak WEP encryption, but instead some unnamed encryption (hey, anything is better than WEP!). The range is much more significant.. 2 miles radio out-of-the-box, that's bad ass.

    So the moral of the story, stick to your 802.11 for your home networks kids and stop pretending that every submission about Internet access is geared to you.

    I still do think the Nokia wireless stuff was far more interesting though. Being NLOS and meshed are two big advantages (with equal disadvantages but still) however, the $700 per CPE is another killer. Yay for 802.16
    • The hardware sounds great until you realize that unless your customers want to pay at least a $500 start-up fee for their CPE they'll be using, you're going to get killed in hardware costs. Mostly user-end. You expect the APs to cost alot!

      If you could get 1200 customers in a 2 mile radius. This isn't so bad. The AP is about $25 per customer, so that is fairly trivial. Then, $500 per customer for the premises equipment is $42 a month for a year. You of course then need at few T1s/T3s to provide access to those customers (I don't know what MB/customer a backend would want). Let's call it 2 T1/AP or 12T1 or ~$12000/month or $10/customer/month.

      So, from a co-op stand point, you could offer two choices:
      a) $525/user startup, and say $15/month. The extra mooney going into a reserve fund to cover busted AP, and possibly future upgrades.

      b) $70/month until the startup costs are covered and then $15/month.

      Although if Nokia got their CPE to $500 or less I think it works better due to the NLOS nature of the system, my area doesn't get cable or DSL because Adelphia is going bankrupt, and Verizon doesn' do squat to expand DSL coverage. And, there are too many trees to get good LOS.

  • The canadians already do this, and cheaper and use the much less used 902Mhz ISM band.
    And the install (that I took part in...)

    Very neat stuff, kind of expensive to do a whole town but way cheaper than laying cable.
  • DOH! The day I switch to 802.11a for higher speeds and less interference with my neighbors' 2.4GHz cordless phones, along comes something sure to saturate the local area with 5GHz interference!
  • Will they run T lines to houses? or neighborhood club houses? if i can get that done, i may hit up the neighbors with this idea.
    I hear they wont run them like that but not really sure.
  • A story about how they use their independence to test-drive thouse canopy units. []
    I really like this guy, makes me want to do similar stuff at motherland :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    there already is a bunch of nodes here in london, run by activists and usually gives the users free access by sharing a dsl connection with the one who sets it up. means limited bandwith the more people are on, but hey, it's neat.
  • Security (Score:2, Funny)

    by GregAllen ( 178208 )
    My favorite quote:

    How secure are Internet transmissions with Canopy?

    Radio communication, by it's very nature, is secure.

    What the... ?!?!

    Canopy systems offer additional advances security with over-the-air-DES encrypted communication. And, because Canopy systems provide 128 bit authentication, only authorized canopy customers can gain access to your Canopy system.

    Ahhhh, marketing. When will they learn? And right next to the "hacking sattelites" article. :)

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.