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The Internet

Wireless Wales 123

phich65 writes "People could soon be sending e-mail from the hillsides, roadsides and rooftops of the south Wales valleys with the expansion of Europe's densest wireless internet network. See this BBC story for details."
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Wireless Wales

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  • Is that why? Is this the start of World Domination, spreading like contagion from Wales to the rest of the world?
    • Is that why?

      Indubitably. Rumour has it that Alan has a 802.11b base station hidden in his beard.
    • Some people even say that he is the Princess of Wales (usual case of double life) and all this stuff with the tunnel in Paris was just because he wanted to have more time for incorperating kernel patches. Wasn't this "accident" even around time Alan Cox wanted to take over kernel maintaining from Linus ? And that's also the reason why this tunnel-picture which surfaced on the web won't be printed in any newspaper. It's said that he had forgotten this time to take his fake beard off.
    • Yes he does (in Swansea to be a bit more precise). The nice thing about Swansea is that NTL started their cable modem trials there and thus affordable broadband has been available for about a year and a bit there. Since I went to University there and shared a house which had a cable modem I can report that it works well. Now I've moved back home and I'm waiting on the dial up modem I only wish broadband were available in Yatton :(
  • At first I thought "Wow, now we'll have a wireless mesh even when we're out to sea?" I thought it crazy, but there's so much crazy stuff on here lately that I figured it must be true! (No I'm not kidding or trolling) Anyway, sounds cool.
  • They went up a hill, and came down a WiFi tower.
  • If someone died because they were connected and didn't pay attention to their surroundings, would they get a D'Arwain award?
  • ...the initiative already gives free high-speed internet access to users in a 10sqkm catchment area in the city using five roof-mounted antennae.

    Free broadband? Free wireless broadband? This could be put to great use, especially for dense urban areas. Its too bad that so many ISPs in North America are fighting wardriving, whilst overseas it seems to be a non-issue.
    • Rhyddha broadband? Rhyddha wireless broadband? Hon could bod ddod at 'n fawr arfer , 'n arbennig achos 'n bendew 'n drefol gwynebau. 'i hefyd 'n ddrwg a 'n gynifer ISPs i mewn Gogledd Amerig, Yr ydy yn cwffio wardriving whilst overseas hymddangosa at bod a non - ddeillia.

      If anyone wants to assist in pronouncing that other than "it sounds like you're trying to talk after stuffing an entire jelly donut into your mouth," be my guest. :)
      • Hmm. Either a translation program, or a word-for-word translation by way of a dictionary, methinks. Let's see what a speaker might come up with:

        Broadband am ddim? Broadband diwifrau am ddim? Gellir rhoi hwn i ddefnydd da, yn arbennig yn ardaloedd trefol ddwys. Mae'n drueni fod cymaint of ISPs yng Ngogledd America yn ymladd yn erbyn y wardriving, tra nid yw'n broblem dramor.

        It's interesting that the previous translation used the word "rhydd" (used above in the imperative form "rhyddha") for "free", since it means "free as in speech", as opposed to "for no cost" ("am ddim" - lit, "for nothing"). Yet another language that makes the distinction; pity there isn't a simple way around the ambiguity that exists in English.
        • It's interesting that the previous translation used the word "rhydd" (used above in the imperative form "rhyddha") for "free", since it means "free as in speech", as opposed to "for no cost" ("am ddim" - lit, "for nothing").

          Oh, I used the GNU/Welsh translator! I hope that clears things up.
        • Ignore this guy - what would someone named "dafydd" know about Celtic languages, anyway?

        • It's interesting that the previous translation used the word "rhydd" for "free", since it means "free as in speech", as opposed to "for no cost" ("am ddim" - lit, "for nothing").

          Wel, efallai fyddai "broadband rhydd" yn iawn, achos chi'n gallu cysylltu gyda fe heb cytundeb - yn union fel mae rhaglenni GPL yn rhydd ac am ddim hefyd. Wrth gwrs, dylai dysgwyr fel fi ddim ceisio pregeth am ramadeg achos fydden ni'n anghywir, mae'n debyg.

          Synnwn i ddim os chi'n gallu dyfalu does dim pwnc go iawn gyda fi i wneud. Ond dwi'n methu gwrthwynebu cyfle fel hwn i siarad (wel oce teipio).

          Gyda llaw, ydy'r postiwr yn siarad sbwriel am y rhaglen cyfieithu, neu ydy hi'n bodoli'n wir?

        • Y Ddraig Goch ddyry gychwyn
    • Almost enough to tempt me further up the valley. Here's hoping it's successful enough to expand.
  • Call me back when the US telecom companies manage to expand their cellular/PCS service to my area. Pathetic that we can't even have universal wireless telephone service here while the UK is putting wireless Internet into its own rural areas. I wonder how many years its been since every square inch of Europe got cellular service coverage...
    • It is also pathetic how people can't relize there is a difference between europes geography and demographic, and the US's geography and demographic.

      There are many places in the US that are larger then England that have coverage.
    • Size matters. Everything there is closer together, so the cities aren't exactly to remote from the "country". If you live in west texas or montana, I doubt you'll see it anytime soon. Its just too much space to cover to justify the cost of deployment.
    • Never been to the north of Scotland, have you?
  • So when can we expect free WiFi to roll out to the cities in the US? They're trying to shut down free access here in the name of security. Terrorists could use this anonymous access to plot nasty things against Americans.
  • One question... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GearheadX ( 414240 ) on Saturday September 14, 2002 @01:59AM (#4255790)
    How are they going to handle the sudden influx of users when this opens fully? I'm afraid my command of how wireless operates is a bit shakey.. but isn't a general rule of thumb more users = less available bandwidth/stability?
    • Same way they handle more cell phone users. More switches and code multiplication.
    • Don't worry, there's 3 people in Wales, of which two live in LlanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllLlantysilio gogogoch [bbc.co.uk]

      Just kidding, I've been to this lovely town and all I'm saying is that there's not _that_ many people living in Wales.
      • Wales has about 5 million people, but most of them live in the South, near the M4 corridor. (The M4 being the motorway from London, past Cardiff, into Carmarthenshire.) In size, Wales is about 20,000 sq km (10,000 sq m). A growing minority of the Welsh speak Welsh.

        WRT Llanfairpwll (as it is abbreviated), although the name /does/ have a meaning in Welsh, it was, IIRC made up in the 19th century to encourage tourism. And from what I've heard, the name is the most interesting thing about the town by a fair margin.
      • Bugger I must be the other one. The Welsh assembly have also introduced a scheme where a selection of coastal towns are getting broadband with the installation subsidised. I have the Unfortunate problem that I live inland. actual coverage in wales looks like this. UK report [bt.com] if you then click on the welsh map a couple of times you'll see what it's really like. Just go ahead and klick on the map of Wales. (fortunately At work I'm sitting on the end of a 34 Mb link but that does make home access really crawl.
    • Yes, but I worked out, with a contention ratio of 50:1, providing 576kb/s to each user, each channel can handle 286 users; it's surprisingly high really. (Assuming you get a reasonably realistic 3.3Mb/s throughput on each channel, YMMV of course).

      And you can have 3 channels, and/or multiple transmitters on the same channels (widely spaced using directional antennas) those tricks would multiply up the capacity further.

      By ADSL standards the capacity is huge.

      Of course each wireless node can probably only handle about 15 nodes on it, depending on the equipment you plug in, but then you network the nodes together.

  • by cscx ( 541332 )
    It still doesn't solve the age-old problem of still needing a throat full of phlegm to pronounce the name of any town/city in Wales.
  • Wales vs. Whales (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Chairboy ( 88841 )
    Personally, I think wireless whales would be more exciting....
  • by Droz1313 ( 608486 ) on Saturday September 14, 2002 @02:25AM (#4255834)
    ...when it comes to anything other than dialup access? Is it strictly a lack of competition or is there more to it? The best broadband I can get at my home is spotty cable access for $55.00 a month, so I'm almost to the point of looking at Sat. service for my internet access..it's either that or moving, and hate U-Haul.
    • It's demand. Nobody gives a shit about anything on the Net that needs high speed access, anymore. Hell, I know that I don't even need high speed, and I run a shitload of web sites.
    • Maybe this is small sample bias, but I thought the same thing until my mother signed up for cable access in Iowa, she's an AOLer(I know...I know...but it's hard to give tech support from 300 miles away!) but now loves the service...if I had to offer my own hypothesis- I'd say most people are satisfied with dial up because they've never used anything but. She was fine with AOL until she finally got broadband at work, now I don't think she could go back. Would it be worth it for telcos to offer discounts to businesses/schools for broadband to spur subscribers to get the service at home in the same way Apple used to give hardware to schools?
    • Is the US really far behind? Do you have any links or data that compare prices and availability, as well as numbers of users of DSL, Cable, Wireless, ISDN, any other broadband connections in Europe and in the US?
    • It truly isn't. This is 10 square miles in the middle of a country. Only 50% of the UK is in range of broadband, and only about 1 million homes or so actually have it. The percentages are probably even lower for Wales.

      Seriously, if you want to you could probably set up your own wireless network. It's not *that* difficult.

    • You might find this conversation [slashdot.org] informative.
  • I can't even get DSL out here in the boonies but the Orcas are all runnin 802.11 on the World Whale Web.
    • Thats pretty much what I thought ... at first I was imagining whales with WAP's strapped to their backs, providing wireless internet access to scurvy sea sailors and pirates ... "Arrrrrr me webcamnow.com went out!! I guess its back to man-love for me...DAMN YOU WHALES!!! *gives promethian gesture*"

      Then I had the more sober thought that this was probably some kind of research project so they could know the temperature of a whales rectum 24/7 ...

      Then I realized we were talking about Wales and not whales and I could care less about this story :)

    • whales are *already* wireless
  • finally! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Noodlenose ( 537591 ) on Saturday September 14, 2002 @03:23AM (#4255909) Homepage Journal
    This can only mean one thing:

    Wales will be the proud location of the first portable web-server on a sheep. You could even design a sheep cam and check were your flock is heading or which bastard is shagging your herd!


    • Oops, someone said sheep cam... http://www.sheepcam.com/. A cluster of sheep servers... thats a funny thought. Or even p2p sheep file servers. Could be good news for all us budding mp3 farmers ;)
  • They really are doomed with a capital 3.

    BTW, if you work for a 3G venture, i'll go with the first network that gives me an IP address. I'll roll my own content, thanks.
    • AllTel is rolling this out starting in November. Tampa, FL will be their first market. Target date for turn on is Nov. 1.

      They don't want to screw with things, just an IP address via 3G1X. I believe it will be 64-128 Kbps, but would have to double-check.

      They eventually plan to move it to all their coverage areas.
  • Wireless Wales....? (Score:4, Informative)

    by seamustheshark ( 603643 ) <clarkecr&gmail,com> on Saturday September 14, 2002 @03:41AM (#4255935)
    The problem they have in Wales (and indeed, most of the UK outside the 'big' cities) is that the major Telecoms provider, British Telecom, who basically own all the local telephone exchanges, will not upgrade them for broadband until there is a certain "target level of demand" (i.e. until it will pay them hansomely to do so).

    Of course, the rub is, for rural exchanges (like where *I* live) they won't tell you what the target is.....

    Therefore, they can alter the 'majic' target at will, so that rural communities will almost certainly never get wired-broadband, hence the move to wireless networks - not only in Wales, but elsewhere in the UK, as it is seen as the only economic way to get better than a POTS dial-up (and don't even ask me about Satellite access in rural UK - uk£1,200 setup and uk£99/month? No thanks!!!)

  • People could soon be sending e-mail from the hillsides, roadsides and rooftops of the south Wales valleys

    People in Europe can send e-mail ( and even receive, yeah! ) from any hillside, roadside or rooftop they want using the GSM/GPRS network, there must be something more interesting that you can do what public Wi-Fi networks?
    • People in Europe can send e-mail ( and even receive, yeah! ) from any hillside, roadside or rooftop they want using the GSM/GPRS network, there must be something more interesting that you can do what public Wi-Fi networks?

      Well, yes, but GPRS isn't exactly cheap, so sending and receiving big e-mails can become quite expensive.
      And using the cellphone provides e-mail, yes, that's possible, but if you're stuck with T-Mobile D like me, you have to pay for the mails you receive.
      So yes, it's possible, but if you use it often, it'll cost you a lot of money
  • (From the BBC article) Broadband advocates and activists frustrated by the slow roll-out of wired options are looking to wi-fi to plug the gap, even though 802.11b suffers from reduced reliability in heavy rain.

    This might make things tricky. As they say in Wales, "If you can't see the hills, it's raining. And if you can see the hills...it's about to rain."

    • My understanding from the people who have actually tried it is that the attenuation to the signal is pretty minor- it's about the same as you get with satellite TV in fact- the frequency is pretty close anyway (as far as that goes.) Even in torrential downpours you still get connectivity, maybe some reduction in rate.
      • Eh? 802.11b close in frequency to satellite TV? Not in Wales it isn't. The satellite (DBS) channels used are in the Ku band (10-18Ghz) while 802.11b is on 2.4 GHz ISM band. Not even close, really.

        A pedant speaks! I think.
  • Cwl! (Score:3, Funny)

    by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Saturday September 14, 2002 @06:59AM (#4256201) Homepage
    If they proceed Caerphilly they could lead the world, unless someone Welshes on the deal. Can you install a new Cardiff your PC doesn't have the Newport you need for the service? When you speak Welsh over VOIP is it clear, or just Mumbles?
  • How the hell did you find out about my wireless whales...oh I see, you were talking about Wales the country...

    Errr nothing, never mind, just carry on, nothing to see here :-)

  • It's all well and good about south wales, but what about the north? Have people completely forgotten about us, or sommat?
  • When I first read the title I thought it said Wireless Whales. I thought all whales were wireless. I've never seen one swimming around the ocean while tethered to the nearest continent with fiber optic cable...
  • Couldn't resist. (Although cwms, IIRC, aren't exactly nice to radio.)
  • pray tell, who the hell got wi-fi out there?

    i expect burnings of wireless transitters as english cultural intrusion by welsh nationalists.
    it'll be like burning man [burningman.com] crossed with the wicker man [stomptokyo.com]
  • Finnally! Now all those poor fishes without internet acess will have somthing to do!
  • Hello,

    A couple of months ago I was visiting a client in Old Colorado City (a suburb of Colorado Springs) and he mentioned his next-door neighbor, a wireless ISP named Old Colorado City Communications [oldcolo.com] ISP, was providing technical assistance in this project. Old Colorado City Communications is owned by Dave Hughes, who was a columnist for BoardWatch [boardwatch.com] magazine back in the early 90's.

    Dave gave my client a nice color brochure talking about the wireless initiative, printed in both English and Welsh.


    Aryeh Goretsky

I'm always looking for a new idea that will be more productive than its cost. -- David Rockefeller