08/07/2005: Getting Wired(less) in America....
"...But Hermiston [Oregon] is actually a global leader of our Internet future. Today, this chunk of arid farm country appears to be the largest Wi-Fi hot spot in the world, with wireless high-speed Internet access available free for some 600 square miles. Most of that is in eastern Oregon, with some just across the border in southern Washington.
Driving along the road here, I used my laptop to get e-mail and download video - and you can do that while cruising at 70 miles per hour, mile after mile after mile, at a transmission speed several times as fast as a T-1 line. (Note: it's preferable to do this with someone else driving.)
This kind of network is the wave of the future, and eastern Oregon shows that it's technically and financially feasible.
Indeed, we need to envision broadband Internet access as just another utility, like electricity or water. Often the best way to provide that will be to blanket a region with Wi-Fi coverage to create wireless computer networks, rather than running D.S.L., cable or fiber-optic lines to every home.
So if the first step was to get Americans wired, the next step is to make them wireless...."
When Pigs Wi-Fi by Nicholas D. Kristof (NY Times).
Karen on 08.07.05 @ 06:57 AM CST