Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×
Communications Networking

Rural Oregon Leads the Way for Large-Scale WiFi 113

atkulp writes "While cities and incumbent telecommunications operators are fighting it out over municipal WiFi, it looks like rural Oregan is leading the way for large-scale deployments of WiFi and WiMax." The privately funded $5 million dollar wireless network services a modest 700 square miles and seems to be the only show in town.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Rural Oregon Leads the Way for Large-Scale WiFi

Comments Filter:
  • by RKBA ( 622932 ) * on Monday October 17, 2005 @02:59AM (#13807743)
    "Similar wireless projects have been stymied in major metropolitan areas by telephone and cable TV companies, which have poured money into legislative bills aimed at discouraging such competition."

    Doesn't anyone care that our politicians accept bribes (aka; campaign donations) to pass laws that are against the interest public interest (ie; the people the politicians are supposed to represent)?

    CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES, Article. II., Section. 4:
    The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I agree, but it still is good to see people making it work, even at such a small scale. I've used wireless since it became cheap enough, using a/b/and now g and better. It has never really been that speedy but, once setup works quite well. The more people who get involved the better it can become.
      • even at such a small scale

        Small scale? Were you referring to the network that the story is about? I guess it depends on how you define "small".

        Coverage of this 'small' network in Oregon: 700 square miles.

        Area of city of Los Angeles [city-data.com]: 469.1 square miles.

        P.S.: For those keeping track, this story is a dupe [slashdot.org].
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Ronald Reagan had this to say: "Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first." which along with another statement he made, "The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other." gives an apt description of the process of government.
    • Doesn't anyone care that our politicians accept bribes (aka; campaign donations) to pass laws that are against the interest public interest (ie; the people the politicians are supposed to represent)?

      Speaking as a Euroweenie, it always amazes me how blind many Americans are to the corruption in their system. I find you get one of three responses:

      1) Everything is transparent, so its all ok.

      2) It's not illegal, and so it must be ok.

      3) You're a European and everyone knows Europe is more corrupt than the USA so
      • by kkohlbacher ( 922932 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @08:18AM (#13808550)
        >

        I think it's more like: "Stop talking politics! What happened on Big Brother last weekend. OMG look what the girl is wearing!? Fat people SHOULD NOT be wearing Abercrombie and Fitch!?!" Wow. (Sorry, OT rant...) (Most) Americans are elusive and close-minded when it comes to politics. We have the big guys patting us on the head saying, "Everything will be ok. Don't think. Don't question. Go about your regular daily routine and everything will be fine." I met a 26 year old last night that said, "The President will pass the law for Christians. He can do anything!" My response: "No, he is not a dictator. Bills must be passed through the H.O.R and the Senate first." Her response: "Who are they!?!?" She could probably tell me Tom Cruise's foot size and what Jennifer Aniston had for breakfast on the second Monday in August though... Anyways, it looks like its starting to hit the fan finally with Rove, DeLay, Brown and all these other morons. About time. I thought the checks and balances system was done for. These people need to be strung up, cause the little guys are always footing the bill. (Now if I could just figure out a way to get high-speed from a non-conglomerate...) BTW, I'm from Dayton, OH--I think it was more like 45 degrees this weekend Alex...!

    • Living in a largely rural area of Ohio, I am not surprised that a rural area in oregon is leading the way. Outside if the the cities, there are many fewer layers of beurocracy- and as such, decision can be made more quickly. There is less political bickering, which leads to quicker decisions. Just my two cents. (Sorry for the spelling- it is 40 degrees here, and my heat isn't on yet, so my fingers are stiff...)
    • by vandan ( 151516 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @06:50AM (#13808252) Homepage
      The only way to address this is to stip all parties of all funding, and then allocate money for campaigning from tax revenue. Then you make the accounts books of all parties open to public inspection, as well as bank account and tax details of all politicians AND their families. If people want to 'serve' the public, then they can start out by being honest. And you know what the politicians always say about such invasions of our privacy ...
      Well, if you're not doing anything wrong, then you don't have anything to worry about

      Time they applied this to themselves.

      Equal funding of ALL political parties. Equal media access to ALL political parties. People implicated in bribery get charged with treason.
      • I'm not sure how people would feel about their tax dollars going to the Nazi party.
        • Because the Nazi's did that? Or you're just talking out your ass? If we the people decided our politicians had to be completely open with us about their investments and potential conflicts of interests, then that would be our decision to insist happen. Then people who didn't want to reveal their finances wouldn't go into politics. Just like we don't let 70-year-olds pilot airliners. It's just the rules.
          • Huh? I'm not sure I understand your response. What the parent was saying was that people might not feel good about having their tax dollars go to funding the campaigns of parties that they disagree with -- which is a necessary consequence of a publically funded campaign strategy. He was using the American Nazi Party (which exists, in real life, today) as an example of an organization which would have to receive funding under such a system, which most people probably would have a problem with.

            I think his poi
        • If people weren't so eager to leverage the power some parties have (the two major business parties--the Democrats and Republicans, for instance) to keep other parties and independant candidates off the ballot or out of widely-viewed "debates", then I'd say they should have no problem hearing what the Nazi party has to say.

          We should not be interested in stifling the speech of people who hold views we don't like. Let them air their views and be torn down by well-constructed logical arguments to the contrary.
        • How would people feel?
          Who knows?

          How should people feel?
          They should on the one hand feel disgusted that parties such as the Nazi party or the Republican party exist, but they should feel a hell of a lot of comfort that the Nazi, Republican parties, and friends are now to open their campaign funding books to the public, so we can all see what's going on. It's either that, or let them do deals behind closed doors.

          As I replied to another poster in this thread, you mightn't like the Nazi party, but achieving
      • The only way to address this is to stip all parties of all funding, and then allocate money for campaigning from tax revenue.

        Do we really give the same amount to every party (wasting my tax dollars on everybody from the Socialists to the Reform party) or do we give more money to the more popular parties (thus writing the current Republicrat party oligarchy into law)? It sounds like you're in favor of the former - what prevents me from starting my own "Ilikemoneycrat" party tomorrow? It would be great to r
        • I won't addres each of your points, as my response to all is basically the same:

          Democracy requires freedom of information. You can't put a limit on which information is available and which information is inaccessible. Even if you think that one particular point of view is invalid, a waste of time / money, or positively evil, it is our responsibility to each other to make sure that that point of view is accessible as any other. Otherwise what you get is a leading ideology hogging all the media, conversation
      • What about newspapers and media? Can they report on candidates? Are they expected to keep silent about major campaigns? The minute they start reporting, they get accused of some sort of bias.

        There is no way to make representation in any way equal for every candidate. That's why we should spend our time and energy making voters more educated and reasonable. That will minimize the advantage billion dollar campaigns have, as well as decrease the likelihood that companies can bribe officials and avoid hav

      • Canada recently made an improvment in political funding: every vote translates into a set dollar amount given to that party from the Elections Canada pot. This means that 3rd parties can get funding to compete in the next election, at least in theory.

        http://www.communitynet.ca/ [communitynet.ca]
        http://www.sasktel.com/about_sasktel/news_room/200 4_news_releases/sasktel_announces_communitynet_dep loyment_schedule.html [sasktel.com]
        Are two links that are on topic to a provincial government/corporation providing access to wireless internet o
    • If you read about it, the U.S. government is far, far more corrupt than the average person thinks. Huge amounts of money are borrowed [futurepower.org] and embezzled. Some people say the money is not stolen, but it somehow makes it to the pockets of the rich, making the rich richer.

      The U.S. government is very violent: History surrounding the U.S. war with Iraq: Four short stories [futurepower.net]. The violent way is preferred because it is more profitable: Ike Was Right About War Machine [informatio...house.info]. ("Ike" is former President of the U.S. and former
      • Are you suggesting that those that have power occasionaly abuse it? Shocking.

        I mean I'm glad you're aware of some of the nonsense that's going on, but making vauge blanket statements with little proof (I don't consider Andy Rooney & what appears to be your website which lists Michel Moore as a reference to be authoratative sources) and no suggestions on how to imporove the situation is rather unhelpful, not to mention offtopic, isn't it?
        • I'm guessing: You have done no reading. You are using verbal devices to avoid seeing that your government needs serious attention from you.
          • I'm guessing: You have done no reading. You are using verbal devices to avoid seeing that your government needs serious attention from you.

            Well, it's a rather poor guess. I've done a lot of reading. I do my best to get a variety of sources in there, but most of my mornings are spent on the NY Times, BBC and Wikipedia over coffee. But reading changes nothing, so I try to stay active as much as I can. It's a little frustrating watching Florida and Ohio decide our future when I live in a hard blue state
    • Setting aside the lamenting of corruption and bribery that you and other posters have articulated well, I'd like to point out that there is a more realistic, though somewhat less treacherous, interpretiation of:

      "Similar wireless projects have been stymied in major metropolitan areas by telephone and cable TV companies, which have poured money into legislative bills aimed at discouraging such competition."

      Perhaps the telephone and cable companies "poured money" into hiring an army of lobbies, who kept much o
      • Politicians don't give anybody who isn't a direct voter or campaign contributer the time of day- and that's where the bribery charge comes into play, with the second.
        • Politicians don't give anybody who isn't a direct voter or campaign contributer the time of day

          I think the truth is somewhat less binary than that. Politicians, to my observation, will generally give the time of day to the two entities you listed, plus anyone who can conceivably help advance some agenda dear to their hearts. This agenda need not be, and rarely is, limited to retaining votes or garnering compaign contributions. Unfortunately, it is more commonly a hidden agenda, and any congruence to the
    • Doesn't anyone care that our politicians accept bribes (aka; campaign donations) to pass laws that are against the interest public interest (ie; the people the politicians are supposed to represent)?

      Obviously the telecom companies don't sell their viewpoints as being "against the public interest".

      Creating an environment where only private companies may provide internet service is not against the public interest. It "supports local economies". It "minimizes government intrustion into private matters". It
    • Doesn't anyone care that our politicians accept bribes (aka; campaign donations) to pass laws that are against the interest public interest (ie; the people the politicians are supposed to represent)?

      This assumes that taxing everyone to provide "free" wireless internet to everyone who wants it is in the public interest.

      I don't believe that taxing everyone to pay for "free" cable tv for everyone who wants it is in the public interest; nor is taxing everyone to pay for "free" DSL for everyone who wants it. I

  • Rural Oregon? I need my rural California broadband. I've got the slowest DSL physically possible! I'm about 25 minutes away from civilization, but I'm still 3 miles from the SBCs central office. Speakeasy.net, please bring me "broad"band, notice the broad part. Although, it is nice to see that areas are snubbing the broadband providers and bringing in their own broadband. It's aboot time.
  • Surveillance? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ChrisGilliard ( 913445 ) <christopher.gilliard@g m a il.com> on Monday October 17, 2005 @03:08AM (#13807771) Homepage
    "Internet service is only a small part of it. The same wireless system is used for surveillance, for intelligent traffic system, for intelligent transportation, for telemedicine and for distance education," Uhhh, I don't know about this. I don't like the idea of the feds using my internet traffic for "surveillance".
    • Re:Surveillance? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Rhinobird ( 151521 )
      Time to take OFF the tin-foil hat. Think security gaurds watching the video feeds from remote sites.
    • Well the obvious answer would be not to use it... but if you're that paranoid and were smart about it you wouldn't be using ANY wireless.
      • I probably never would use this. I was just pointing out the government's purpose for doing this. If you or anyone else chooses to use it, then that's great. I'm usually somewhat skeptical of the goverment using my tax dollars to do things that I can buy fairly cheaply. I can get sbc yahoo dsl for $14.99 a month. I would imagine that the government cannot provide internet access this efficiently. So, even though it may seem free, it's not. Just my $0.02.
        • Re:Surveillance? (Score:2, Informative)

          by GrigorPDX ( 513102 )
          As an Oregonian and a government employee I have a few things to say about this:
          1. I believe the "surveillance" is at least in part connected to the disaster preparedness/early warning system for the Army's Umatilla Chemical Weapons Depot.

            The high desert around Hermiston also happens to be the home of one of the nation's largest stockpiles of Cold War-era chemical weapons. Under federal guidelines, local government officials were required to devise an emergency evacuation plan for the accidental release o

  • by Atario ( 673917 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @03:09AM (#13807773) Homepage
    Is that anything like a number #2 pencil? Or a 10% percent raise?
  • Oregan? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bladx ( 816461 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @03:12AM (#13807780)
    "it looks like rural Oregan is leading the way" let's spell it Oregon
  • by IDkrysez ( 552137 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @03:24AM (#13807808)
    From what I've seen, normal Wifi (802.11b and 802.11g) can suffer denial of service fairly easily, even with simply misconfigured clients. I'm not sure if WiMax addresses this, I hope so, but TFA says that the wireless network will cover surveillance presumedly for the chemical depot(s) as well as the shipping yard, and also that various emergency signs can be controlled by WiFi. Assuming they've got these devices and monitoring/control [sub]nets setup securely, it seems that they're still quite vulnerable to a simple denial of service attack. Taking out traffic lights and/or jamming radios is not a new idea to Bad Guys (and Bad Girls), it seems this makes it fairly easy to accomplish criminally-intented DoS with OTS components. I hope there's more to it, possibly a followup article from Wired, which has gotten so damned fufu in recent years.

    Yay Oregon!

          -IDkrysez
    • Traffic lights and billboards posting evacuation messages can also be controlled remotely over the wireless network.

      Imagine the goatse implications of that. Think of the children!

  • GOOD! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Foktip ( 736679 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @03:37AM (#13807844)
    My town is in the same situation. I have developed the equation for political drag on wifi:

    Dp[wifi] = n/(1/2pU^2A*Re)t^S

    where S stands for stupidity factor, and n is the number of telecoms, p ~ politicians, U ~ potential userbase factor, A ~ land area/size, Re ~ Retardation number, and t ~ reasonable time expectation
    • Re:GOOD! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hollanan ( 74602 )
      are the retardation number and stupidity factors constants or varaible to different communities?
    • I'll remember that equation, though you may want to include a few variables: St - Stupidity on the part of telcos Su - Stupidity on the part of the potential userbase n might also be divided by a factor of what kind of telco they are for instance nIc would refer to number of incumbent Cable cos while nIp would refer to incumbent phone cos - again they play by different standards, so variables may prudent. as to politicians, probably wise to distinguish between Federal, State & Local (pF, pS & pL
  • Um, no they dont. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @03:42AM (#13807854) Homepage
    There are several community wireless networks that do very well and the one in seattle [seattlewireless.net] is larger than this if you count all the hotspot's and their square footage of coverage.

    Maybe for a privately owned pay for use, but not for existing wireless coverage.

    and the funny part is the community wireless projects are done without wimax. 802.11 point to point works very well.
    • Re:Um, no they dont. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jonbrewer ( 11894 ) *
      There are several community wireless networks that do very well and the one in seattle is larger than this if you count all the hotspot's and their square footage of coverage.

      You're saying that Seattle Wireless has over 700 square miles of coverage? I find that pretty hard to believe.
      • Re:Um, no they dont. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @07:02AM (#13808287) Homepage
        Square miles is easy, and I suggest you contact the guys at seattle wireless and get more info. I helped my local community wireless based on their designs and we have almost 90 square miles coverage with just a small handful of us. (Note a 802.11 access point with antennas outside and up in the air has pretty good coverage, a ~1000 foot circle of coverage add's up fast as you add access points. Most of our access points have OTS 6dbi outdoot antennas with a 8 degree downtilt at about the 100 foot mark up towers or buildings around town. having less than 6 inches of coax reduces loss quite a bit and having the point to point link right there next to the open access point makes a big difference. Each new access point costs less than $1000.00 to install including equipment and a second point to point dish or helical antenna back at a hub point.

        It is really easy to gain square miles of coverage. remember 2 square miles is a very small amount of land area and can be covered quite easily. espically if you pick and choose covering spots that matter. (the oil/gas trasnfer station and train yard do not need wireless coverage, the park and residential areas do.)
  • by Douglas Simmons ( 628988 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @03:44AM (#13807865) Homepage
    Every time a new large scale public wifi deployment story hits the wires, the topic of preventing abuse while maximizing usability emerges. Maybe it's just my 4:23am weirdness, but I think I'm on to something: Given that all unsuccessfully throttled bandwidth will always get sucked up by people who will inevitably figure out how to procure gigs of entertainment/warez, thereby screwing over people downloading important shit [debian.org], both, rather all types of data transfering people will be left frustrated. However, as bandwidth improvements continues to enable us one not-to-distant day to transfer real quick-like the highest quality five channel 30 frames per second 1600x1200 pr0n, to use video as an example, bandwidth will eventually surpass what we could possibly need to keep ourselves "busy" and there eventually will be enough public juice to go around without throttling (pingflooding usage being an exception of course).

    Yeah this brings us back to Bill Gates quotes paralleling my pr0n res hypothetical to be good enough to suit us (like the 640KB did), but, I mean, c'mon, won't that video quality suffice?

    The answer is yes, until the market fully adopts 3D holograph pr0n that will require some more zeros and ones.

    I mean, c'mon.

  • by freakybob ( 715183 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @03:52AM (#13807883)
    On tv shows such as 24 and Spooks, you know how when a bad guy uses his credit card at a gas station and they can immediately pull up the CCTV footage of him doing it? Even though CCTV kind of means that it's tv on a CLOSED CIRCUIT? I think that's what the article means when it says the cloud can be used for "surveillance" - it makes this commonly used artistic license a reality. In the future, I have always hoped there will be wireless internet pretty much everywhere, for free. I'm not sure of a way for the providers to make back their money other than taxes, but I'm sure there will be a solution.
  • the Borg run on WiFi?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Of course they do. However they use modified transmitters with high power output, which is why Star Fleet (The FCC) hate them so much.

      The Borg are always so angry because they are still waiting for Duke Nukem Forever to come out as well, Star Fleet obviously prefer RTS games. And the Borg use Vim. And Star Fleet use Emacs. And the Borg run BSD....
  • Interesting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Trip Ericson ( 864747 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @05:18AM (#13808051) Homepage
    According to the article, this county has roughly the same population that my county has (my county has a little over 12,000 and no traffic lights, compared to the one in the story with 11,000 and no traffic lights). The only difference is that my county would likely put up a fight over having towers scattered all over the place, regardless of what service they were providing.

    This county also blocked a coal-burning power plant, so the people who wanted it moved it 2 miles, just across the county line, and got it built.

    And blocked a landfill in a remote section of the county.

    I'm not sure that a project like this would face such opposition, especially if the towers could also provide cell phone service (which is also very poor in the county). I know that everyone I talk to that can't currently get high-speed internet is always saying "oh there has got to be a way!" especially considering that the phone lines in much of the county are so old that connections above 28.8kbps (that's a 3K transfer rate) are rare.

    I have heard that the school system wants to do something like this, but I know the admin who thought it up, and I don't really want to use something he runs. I heard something about "free but filtered" and I almost said "don't bother" right then and there.
  • by CharliePete ( 923290 ) <slashdot@aces4all.com> on Monday October 17, 2005 @05:39AM (#13808100) Journal
    A couple of yearss back I started looking into using an alternative ISP for my DSL service. After checking into several that had packages that more closely suited my needs I quickly discovered that the rates that the few providers that offered service in my area were 2 - 3 times higher that what I was already paying for with my telco based ISP. It seems that the FCC regulations that required telcos to open their networks to regional ISPs at discounted rates applied to everyone except Verizon. Economic legislation should only be used to encourage competition not stifle it as we see with any legislation promoted by the Bigs (like the DMCA an the idea of software patents). My hat's off to Mr. Ziari and the people of Hermiston, Oregon for getting this set up on their own.
  • So, 2 years ago an Iranian immigrant comes to this tiny rural county with an idea to set up a wireless network that would allow all sorts of surveillance of any transactions or other data sent over it by those that set it up. Oh, and by the way, this tiny rural county that has this Iranian immigrant creating a wireless network that is privately funded (yet they never mention who exactly is funding it except to say that it was at Ziari's expense) just happens to have one of the largest stockpiles of chemica

  • by Anonymous Coward
    that I can now get in touch with a doctor when I'm on 'The Trail' (as they call it in Oregon) and Hannah comes down with dysentery?
  • So does this mean I can sneak a spycam into the live sex shows and broadcast it out over WiFi?
  • And for the Hermiston Police Department, having squad cars equipped with a wireless laptop means officers can work less overtime by being able to file their crime reports from the field.

    Nothing in this article mentions safety or security, and the question must be asked:
    How safe is this network? Can anyone intercept data running through it? What happens if your data is stolen because of it?
    Just a thought.
  • FTFA:

    The high desert around Hermiston also happens to be the home of one of the nation's largest stockpiles of Cold War-era chemical weapons. Under federal guidelines, local government officials were required to devise an emergency evacuation plan for the accidental release of nerve and mustard agents.

    This would not have happened if not for the weapons incinerator [oregontoxics.org] in Hermiston. For anything other than emergency alerts, there just wasn't demand. So don't go thinking your podunk town in Iowa will have a wif

  • 700 sq. mi! That's like, what, less than 1% of rural Oregon?

    "Rural Oregon", now that's a redundancy in terms.
  • An interesting side note on this is that Hermiston, OR is where Umitilla Ordinance Depot is located. For those who aren't familiar with this facility, this is one of two places in the United States where chemical weapons are destroyed, the other being in Arkanasas. About 12% of the US stockpile of VX and GB (nerve agents) and HD (blister, or "mustard" agent) are stored as liquid in various types of munitions and containers, including rockets, bombs, projectiles, mines, bulk containers, and aerial spray tank

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A guinea pig is not from Guinea but a rodent from South America.

Working...