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T.O. to become wireless hotspot..

Woody

TRIBE Member
Mar. 6, 2006. 08:30 AM
TYLER HAMILTON
TECHNOLOGY REPORTER

Toronto Hydro Corp. will announce Tuesday that it plans to turn Canada's largest city into one giant wireless hotspot, directly challenging the country's major mobile phone carriers for a chunk of the $8 billion a year wireless market.

With the deployment, which sources say could be available in the downtown core as early as this fall, Toronto joins a growing list of North American cities, including Philadelphia, New Orleans and San Francisco, that have announced plans to bring low-cost, broadband wireless access to their citizens and businesses.

"I wouldn't be surprised if you see it in September or October of this year," said a source close to the project.

Mayor David Miller will join Toronto Hydro executives on Tuesday to officially announce the initiative, which will be the largest of its kind ever undertaken in Canada and could undermine commercial product offerings from Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility.

"I've heard that Ted Rogers is not very happy," said the source, referring to the founder of Toronto-based Rogers Communications Inc., parent company of Rogers Wireless, the country's largest mobile phone provider.

So-called municipal Wi-Fi, which blankets entire cities with the same wireless network technology found in many homes and small businesses, makes broadband access virtually ubiquitous and gives municipalities a way of generating revenue while offering affordable high-speed Internet access to low-income persons and neighbourhoods.

It also gives cities a way to attract tourists and business professionals, provides local police with better access to law enforcement databases while on the road, and helps city officials remotely monitor parking meters and other automated services. Toronto Hydro might also choose to sell a wholesale version of the service to other service providers.

In Ontario, where smart meters have been mandated, electrical utilities are looking at various telecommunications technologies for retrieving data from people's homes and businesses for time-of-day billing purposes.

Sources say Toronto Hydro has decided to support its smart meter plan using Wi-Fi technology, which can be accessed by any properly equipped laptop or handheld computing device.

Brian Sharwood, a telecom analyst with the Seaboard Group in Toronto, said it makes sense for a utility to recoup the cost of supporting smart meters by also selling wireless broadband services. "In a way that's the excuse to do all of this," he said. "You're going to run it past a lot of people anyway."

He said Canada's largest municipal electrical utility, which last year purchased Toronto's street light system for $60 million, will likely install the necessary wireless transmitters and receivers atop every fourth or fifth lamp post as a way to blanket the city with coverage -- what the industry describes as "wireless mesh networking."

Several companies offer the technology, including Kanata, Ont.-based BelAir Networks and Brampton-based Nortel Networks. Utilities in Hamilton and Sault Ste. Marie are pursuing similar Wi-Fi strategies for their respective smart meter programs.

Municipal Wi-Fi projects aren't without controversy. In the United States, major wireless carriers say municipalities have no experience selling consumer services and are abusing their monopoly over taxpayers' funds. They also fear that their own Wi-Fi services, increasingly offered in airports, restaurants, coffee shops and hotels, will be undercut when it comes to price.

But municipalities argue that competition is healthy and that blanketing communities with low-cost broadband access helps bridge the digital divide.

The announcement Tuesday by Toronto Hydro will follow VIA Rail Canada's decision to begin offering Wi-Fi service on all its trains between Windsor and Quebec City over the course of the year.

Additional articles by Tyler Hamilton

Me thinks it's about time that something like this happened.....
 

Woody

TRIBE Member
I love the comment about Ted Rogers not being too happy...

Who the fuck cares if this asshole is happy or not, I say let him suffer a little....
 
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The Peej

TRIBE Member
Am I to understand this means everyone in Toronto with a wireless card will get free interweb access?
 

Woody

TRIBE Member
The Peej said:
Am I to understand this means everyone in Toronto with a wireless card will get free interweb access?
I'm not sure that it would be free, although that would be nice if it were... I think that there will be a small fee involved, but probably a lot less than what you would be paying through rogers and or bell....

It will be interesting to see what kind of connection speed and such that they will be able to offer....
 
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alexd

Administrator
Staff member
This is the most awesome thing! Am I ever glad I invested in all that server hardware last year! Traffic is going to be huger.
 

kaniz

TRIBE Member
Curious to see how much this will cost for the users if anything. I cant see Hydro just giving this away for free.

However, if the speeds are solid, and the price is comparable to a 'normal' rogers connection - I'd use that instead in a second.
 

Taro

TRIBE Member
yeah I seriously hope this is comes to fruitition..

I hate paying Teddy - he gets enough of my monneh.
 

Dr Funk MD

TRIBE Promoter
"I've heard that Ted Rogers is not very happy," said the source,
It's funny how the same people who praise the internet for bringing egalitarianism to the masses are the first to get pissed off when they can't charge for it. Freedom of speach for all those who can afford to pay $59.95 a month.

Fuck em I say!

Make it free and watch the gun violence disappear in the city. Kids will be too busy downloading illegal mp3s to bother shooting each other.
 

vinder

TRIBE Member
i doubt it will be free. my guess is $20-$30 bucks a month, and service won't be as reliable as cable/dsl.
 
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kaniz

TRIBE Member
You know, maybe someone can educate me on this.

Companies bitch about people using 'too much bandwidth', and want to charge out the ass for high-speed access because bandwidth is just so damn expensive.

However, in every networking class I've taken at school - they have gone off about how abundant bandwidth is, how fast the capacity for bandwidth is growing, how much extra fiber-optic is being put down every year, and how much the available bandwidth is increasing every year, and how there are miles and miles and miles of 'dark fiber' that's not being used.

anyone care to explain how bandwidth is so expensive if there is this ever increasing and abundant amount of bandwidth and all this 'unused dark fiber' --- why not start activating that dark fiber?



Now, I'm sure this will simply come down to me having too basic of an understanding of all the inner-workings of things, and there may be a very logical/obvious reason for it - just curious to as why/that is.

Well, I suppose the obvious factors is that there isnt enough powerfull hardware to utilize the fiber optic wire to its fullest. Then, there is the 'companies are greedy and just want more money' argument --- what else?
 
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alexd

Administrator
Staff member
kaniz said:
You know, maybe someone can educate me on this.

Companies bitch about people using 'too much bandwidth', and want to charge out the ass for high-speed access because bandwidth is just so damn expensive.

However, in every networking class I've taken at school - they have gone off about how abundant bandwidth is, how fast the capacity for bandwidth is growing, how much extra fiber-optic is being put down every year, and how much the available bandwidth is increasing every year, and how there are miles and miles and miles of 'dark fiber' that's not being used.

anyone care to explain how bandwidth is so expensive if there is this ever increasing and abundant amount of bandwidth and all this 'unused dark fiber' --- why not start activating that dark fiber?



Now, I'm sure this will simply come down to me having too basic of an understanding of all the inner-workings of things, and there may be a very logical/obvious reason for it - just curious to as why/that is.

Well, I suppose the obvious factors is that there isnt enough powerfull hardware to utilize the fiber optic wire to its fullest. Then, there is the 'companies are greedy and just want more money' argument --- what else?

All that "unused bandwidth" has already been alocated for use by future VOIP services by companies like rogers - the fucks.
 

Persephone

TRIBE Member
Dr Funk MD said:
Make it free and watch the gun violence disappear in the city. Kids will be too busy downloading illegal mp3s to bother shooting each other.
That is, once they get the money to buy a computer (or, perhaps, after they steal it)
 

Rajio

Well-Known TRIBEr
I would prefer it being free and dialup-slow with throttled bit torrent. basic low speed internets would be so handy if ubiquitous and wireless than the need for broadband. i say; limit speeds to enable it being free for all. pay for broadband. (assuming we cant have broadband for free)
 
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JEMZ

TRIBE Member
kaniz said:
You know, maybe someone can educate me on this.

Companies bitch about people using 'too much bandwidth', and want to charge out the ass for high-speed access because bandwidth is just so damn expensive.

However, in every networking class I've taken at school - they have gone off about how abundant bandwidth is, how fast the capacity for bandwidth is growing, how much extra fiber-optic is being put down every year, and how much the available bandwidth is increasing every year, and how there are miles and miles and miles of 'dark fiber' that's not being used.

anyone care to explain how bandwidth is so expensive if there is this ever increasing and abundant amount of bandwidth and all this 'unused dark fiber' --- why not start activating that dark fiber?



Now, I'm sure this will simply come down to me having too basic of an understanding of all the inner-workings of things, and there may be a very logical/obvious reason for it - just curious to as why/that is.

Well, I suppose the obvious factors is that there isnt enough powerfull hardware to utilize the fiber optic wire to its fullest. Then, there is the 'companies are greedy and just want more money' argument --- what else?

Just because there are miles of dark fibre, doesn't mean in the Central Offices and the Customer Prems there are actually equipment that will transmit the light on the fibres.

I work for a group that does the Provisioning of massive broadband fibre optic rings for all the big players, and while we still often have to lay fibre because by no means does every building in this world have entrance fibre going to it (or fibre duct even), there still has to be someone willing to pay $100 000 for an Optera 3500 Bay OC-3 Trib cards,OC 3X4 Mappers, DS3 Mappers, Protection, Diversity, Surveillance, Alarms etc.

So it isn't that simple. We can't just flick a switch and automatically energize fibre that isn't connected to anything.

So who wants to pay for all this and then give it away for free? The pipe dreams and rediculous demands of the average internet user makes me laugh so much.

As for big companies making more money, just remember, this stuff is all regulated by the CRTC so in many cases, the work I do by law has to be provided by my company even though there may be no profitablity for us at all. And most big companies are run by shareholders' demands, the last time I checked the only reason people bought shares was to make money. Once everyone embraces this reality the better everyone will be.
 
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quantumize

TRIBE Member
vinder said:
i doubt it will be free. my guess is $20-$30 bucks a month, and service won't be as reliable as cable/dsl.
I agree but I think it might be a bit more expensive than this per month
 

Jeffsus

TRIBE Member
The wireless data charges from rogers/bell/telus are absolutely ridiculous. For fucking 1x? (some places still just CDMA1!) Oh, sorry, they have upgraded in 'select' areas.... pfff... They set their price points years ago and started wringing their fingers long before their chickens hatched. This is why tech CEOs should have at least a GENERAL understanding of technology and not just MBAs from (joe shmoe american college). Remember when the head of Telus quit and went to Bell? That should have been an eye opener.

Anyways, fuck them all. Also, sell your stocks.

-jM
A&D
 
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