Email Delivery

Receive new posts as email.

Email address

Syndicate this site

RSS | Atom


About This Site
Contact Us
Privacy Policy


November 2010
Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30        

Stories by Category

Basics :: Basics
Casting :: Casting Listen In Podcasts Videocasts
Culture :: Culture Hacking
Deals :: Deals
Future :: Future
Hardware :: Hardware Adapters Appliances Chips Consumer Electronics Gaming Home Entertainment Music Photography Video Gadgets Mesh Monitoring and Testing PDAs Phones Smartphones
Industry :: Industry Conferences Financial Free Health Legal Research Vendor analysis
International :: International
Media :: Media Locally cached Streaming
Metro-Scale Networks :: Metro-Scale Networks Community Networking Municipal
Network Types :: Network Types Broadband Wireless Cellular 2.5G and 3G 4G Power Line Satellite
News :: News Mainstream Media
Politics :: Politics Regulation Sock Puppets
Schedules :: Schedules
Security :: Security 802.1X
Site Specific :: Site Specific Administrative Detail April Fool's Blogging Book review Cluelessness Guest Commentary History Humor Self-Promotion Unique Wee-Fi Who's Hot Today?
Software :: Software Open Source
Spectrum :: Spectrum 60 GHz
Standards :: Standards 802.11a 802.11ac 802.11ad 802.11e 802.11g 802.11n 802.20 Bluetooth MIMO UWB WiGig WiMAX ZigBee
Transportation and Lodging :: Transportation and Lodging Air Travel Aquatic Commuting Hotels Rails
Unclassified :: Unclassified
Vertical Markets :: Vertical Markets Academia Enterprise WLAN Switches Home Hot Spot Aggregators Hot Spot Advertising Road Warrior Roaming Libraries Location Medical Public Safety Residential Rural SOHO Small-Medium Sized Business Universities Utilities wISP
Voice :: Voice


November 2010 | October 2010 | September 2010 | August 2010 | July 2010 | June 2010 | May 2010 | April 2010 | March 2010 | February 2010 | January 2010 | December 2009 | November 2009 | October 2009 | September 2009 | August 2009 | July 2009 | June 2009 | May 2009 | April 2009 | March 2009 | February 2009 | January 2009 | December 2008 | November 2008 | October 2008 | September 2008 | August 2008 | July 2008 | June 2008 | May 2008 | April 2008 | March 2008 | February 2008 | January 2008 | December 2007 | November 2007 | October 2007 | September 2007 | August 2007 | July 2007 | June 2007 | May 2007 | April 2007 | March 2007 | February 2007 | January 2007 | December 2006 | November 2006 | October 2006 | September 2006 | August 2006 | July 2006 | June 2006 | May 2006 | April 2006 | March 2006 | February 2006 | January 2006 | December 2005 | November 2005 | October 2005 | September 2005 | August 2005 | July 2005 | June 2005 | May 2005 | April 2005 | March 2005 | February 2005 | January 2005 | December 2004 | November 2004 | October 2004 | September 2004 | August 2004 | July 2004 | June 2004 | May 2004 | April 2004 | March 2004 | February 2004 | January 2004 | December 2003 | November 2003 | October 2003 | September 2003 | August 2003 | July 2003 | June 2003 | May 2003 | April 2003 | March 2003 | February 2003 | January 2003 | December 2002 | November 2002 | October 2002 | September 2002 | August 2002 | July 2002 | June 2002 | May 2002 | April 2002 | March 2002 | February 2002 | January 2002 | December 2001 | November 2001 | October 2001 | September 2001 | August 2001 | July 2001 | June 2001 | May 2001 | April 2001 |

Recent Entries

In-Flight Wi-Fi and In-Flight Bombs
Can WPA Protect against Firesheep on Same Network?
Southwest Sets In-Flight Wi-Fi at $5
Eye-Fi Adds a View for Web Access
Firesheep Makes Sidejacking Easy
Wi-Fi Direct Certification Starts
Decaf on the Starbucks Digital Network
Google Did Snag Passwords
WiMax and LTE Not Technically 4G by ITU Standards
AT&T Wi-Fi Connections Keep High Growth with Free Service

Site Philosophy

This site operates as an independent editorial operation. Advertising, sponsorships, and other non-editorial materials represent the opinions and messages of their respective origins, and not of the site operator. Part of the FM Tech advertising network.


Entire site and all contents except otherwise noted © Copyright 2001-2010 by Glenn Fleishman. Some images ©2006 Jupiterimages Corporation. All rights reserved. Please contact us for reprint rights. Linking is, of course, free and encouraged.

Powered by
Movable Type

« NetGear's Back Door | Main | SoftAP Brings Mac's Simplicity to Windows »

June 4, 2004

Franchising Free: SalemOpen.Net Installs a Meme

SalemOpen.Net will launch shortly using Michael Oh's model--and support--for establishing commercially supported free Internet access over Wi-Fi: In an interview last week, Michael Oh outlined the new network in Salem, Mass., that will launch in the next few days. The network involves the sponsorship of a local bank and participation by a number of merchants. Oh says that SalemOpen.Net is a proof of concept that the Newbury Street model he developed for putting Wi-Fi access hand in hand with business development can be "franchised."

"It's incredible to actually be on a street and drive around for three hours and find 2,200 access points, and see that only 12 of them are public, free or paid," Oh said. The commercial free networks that Oh has helped build take advantage of the growing necessity of Internet access for people in all walks of life and the built-in nature of Wi-Fi in virtually all new laptops.

SalemOpen.Net's motivation comes in part from the desire of the 40,000-person town to have a year-round economy not based in the run-up to Halloween, and events that recall witch trials over 300 years ago. Oh said that some residents live there because of the mystique--"24 by 7 Goths"--but the community at large "would like to say we're more than just a Halloween tourist attraction or a place to go during the summer to see some interesting witch museums."

Oh said, the network is "a way of trying to attract businesses to Salem Center, to attract more people from the fringes of that area." He noted, "Literally in that area, there's nothing like that." The nearby North Shore Mall has an Apple Store with free Wi-Fi, but he said that's practically the only open access.

In an email follow-up, Oh noted that a small project in nearby Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to offer free Wi-Fi illustrated his point about the attactiveness of wireless access. "Free WiFi can give an entire area an advantage over the 'big city'--cheaper parking, lower rent, and free Wi-Fi," he wrote. "I think that's an important trend--and you could see free Wi-Fi gelling more effectively in small towns first, even though there are more users for it in cities."

This was the logic that drove Monet Mobile to offer high-speed cellular wireless data service in more rural areas unserved or underserved by wired DSL and cable broadband. The company filed for bankruptcy in April after being unable to sign up enough customers. But Monet required a separate PC Card-based cellular modem for access where Wi-Fi is something that tens of millions of computer owners already have built in or added on to their computers, like a plug in search of a socket.

Oh estimated at its outset that $10,000 would be required to build out enough service across the three major downtown streets. Eastern Bank has contributed those funds to support the effort. Oh said the final costs would wind up being practically to the dollar on that original estimate. The Salem Partnership, the City of Salem, and the Salem Main Street Initiative have all participated in planning or approving the project.

"In order for free Wi-Fi to succeed on any level, there has to be a model that is easy to duplicate," Oh wrote. The corporate sponsorship lets the network start "at a higher level--and thus has a higher likelihood of being more sustainable in the end." A project in Savannah, Georgia, of a similar nature was just announced today.

About 10 initial businesses will pay $25 per month for the year, and potentially $50 per month depending on sponsorship in the second year. Oh said that 40 businesses could potentially become part of the effort given proximity.

The system uses the same setup as NewburyOpen.Net: DSL connections that are approve for sharing and Wi-Fi antennas to relay no more than one hop from the DSL modem's origin. The DSL is from Speakeasy Networks, which explicitly allows sharing and resale of its connections, and are rated at 6 Mbps downstream, 1 Mbps upstream, and costs about $120 per month.

The project will use three DSL lines, one for each street. "Because of the layout, Salem has a commercial center with three main streets that all intersect with one another," Oh said, requiring the three lines for simplicity's sake, and high bandwidth availability. The Peabody Essex Museum will receive some Wi-Fi coverage as part of the arrangement.

Oh can already see how the press will cover it: "I can't wait for the press picture of some Goth with a laptop in front of the old town hall." As long as that brings Salem some attention, however, none of the participants will have any problem with it.