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GR Wi-Max Project


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If people are interested, this thread can be used to discuss the Grand Rapids Wireless Broadband Project aka "HotSpotsCoolCity".

I will periodically update this post with basic information as it becomes available:

Official URL: http://www.wirelessgr.com/

RFP issued 1/27/06

Letters of Intent to Bid were due 4/5/06

Responses are due 4/25/06 (extended from the original date of 4/5/06)

Companies who submitted intent to bid

Ref: http://muniwireless.com/municipal/bids/1138/

4 G Metro Mesh, BroadBreeze Communications, MEI MAYLONE Enterprises, Inc., ACD.net, Clearwire, NeoReach Inc., AmeriNet, Earthlink Municipal Networks, NetApex, Arialink, FreedomNet Solutions, Ricochet, AT&T, IBM, Pronto Networks, Azulstar, Inc., INS Inc. (a Lockheed Martin Company), WiFiCITY, Blue Moon Solutions and Lakeside Wireless, LLC.

Requirements Spreadsheet: http://www.ci.grand-rapids.mi.us/download_...ttachment_A.xls

Highlights

802.11 b/g

>= 1Mbps download and upload to both business and residential customers

Network availability: 99.9%

95% outdoor coverage (worst case)

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It's pretty amusing that these telco/cellular companies like AT&T and Sprint have jumped on the muni wireless bandwagon, after fighting against muni wi-fi. But now they realize that they can't stop the momentum and have no choice but to get into the game ASAP.

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Updated the original post with the companies who have submitted intent to bid, according to muniwireless.com. Ironically Sprint, who put up the billboard shown in this thread, is not one of them.

How many of these guys are local companies? I see FreedomNet which is run by a South Christian (go sailors) grad out of GR, but I don't recognize the others.

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Grand Rapids One Step Closer to Citywide Wireless Broadband: The City issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a privately owned and operated wireless broadband network on January 27, 2006. We received 21

letters of intent to bid earlier this month and nine proposals (bids) were received by the deadline on Tuesday, April 25." Check out www.wirelessgr.com for more info.

Four of the nine companies:

ACD.net

Earthlink Municipal Networks

AT&T/IBM

Clearwire

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Unfortunately the system won't let me edit the original post. There must be a time limit after which you can't edit.

Anyways, here's the list of companies who submitted bids.

1. ACD.net

2. AT&T/IBM

3. Broadbreeze Communications

4. Clearwire

5. Earthlink Municipal Networks

6. NeoReach Inc.

7. NetApex

8. RITE Brain Consulting

9. Pronto Networks

For me to consider the wireless "affordable", the price for entry should be no more than $10/month. At under $10/month, all the families/people who could only afford dialup will be able to upgrade to broadband.

If it's $20/month, people who already have broadband would be able to switch and probably save money, but the impact is just not the same.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I really think WiFi is a waste of money, WiMax is the way to go. Arialink, based in Lansing, is planning to cover all of Muskegon county in WiMax by the beginning of next year, speeds will be 3mps and prices will be $19/month. They are talking of bringing it to the Lansing area in mid '07. I think that WiMax is a far better option as one tower can beam a signal out up to a 30 mile radius.

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I really think WiFi is a waste of money, WiMax is the way to go. Arialink, based in Lansing, is planning to cover all of Muskegon county in WiMax by the beginning of next year, speeds will be 3mps and prices will be $19/month. They are talking of bringing it to the Lansing area in mid '07. I think that WiMax is a far better option as one tower can beam a signal out up to a 30 mile radius.

Agreed on the WiFi comments.

However, it may be a LONG time before Arialink gets their project off the ground. From what I've seen of them, they're not yet ready for primetime.

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They have an official timeline of having WiMax to all of Muskegon county early next year, they have even received federal funding because it is the first commercial WiMax installation in the US. From my limited knowledge of Arialink, they seem to really be a company on the rise, they could easily compete in the national market within a couple years IMO, esecially if they stick to specializing in WiMax.

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WiMax deployment targetting general users and people travelling is a risky proposition. 802.11b/g hardware will not work with it, so people will have to purchase/rent WiMax hardware to get the service.

It's going to be WiMax vs. 802.11n and nobody can say who's going to win at this point. I would not want to deploy a regional network on the losing technology, that's for sure. Even if WiMax is technically superior, that guarantees nothing, just like Betamax vs. VHS.

Personally, if I had to deploy today, I would choose Wi-Fi and hope that 802.11n wins. And even if WiMax does come out on top, at least 802.11b/g will be available and useful for some years still.

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WiMax deployment targetting general users and people travelling is a risky proposition. 802.11b/g hardware will not work with it, so people will have to purchase/rent WiMax hardware to get the service.

It's going to be WiMax vs. 802.11n and nobody can say who's going to win at this point. I would not want to deploy a regional network on the losing technology, that's for sure. Even if WiMax is technically superior, that guarantees nothing, just like Betamax vs. VHS.

Personally, if I had to deploy today, I would choose Wi-Fi and hope that 802.11n wins. And even if WiMax does come out on top, at least 802.11b/g will be available and useful for some years still.

franishsu, can you tell me how long my sweet free internets are going to be goin?

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It says COOLCITYADC. I was under the impression it's out of the Wealthy Theatre?

There are approximetly 20 access nodes throughout the Wealthy Theatre Wireless Broadband Network Demonstration Project area. The project area covers Fuller to Charles, from Wealthy to Lake Drive SE and has the ability to extend 600 feet outside the project area.

I haven't heard of any plans to disable the network, so you're in luck. I'll keep you posted....

Here is the April Grand Rapids Wireless Broadband Newsletter.

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