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  1.    #1  
    If this doesn't make all you WiFi doubters start to realize the importance of including WiFi in the next gen Treo, then I don't know what will.

    http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...es_7&printer=1

    Philly Considers Wireless Internet for All

    Wed Sep 1,10:24 AM ET

    By DAVID B. CARUSO, Associated Press Writer

    PHILADELPHIA - For about $10 million, city officials believe they can turn all 135 square miles of Philadelphia into the world's largest wireless Internet hot spot.


    The ambitious plan, now in the works, would involve placing hundreds, or maybe thousands of small transmitters around the city probably atop lampposts. Each would be capable of communicating with the wireless networking cards that now come standard with many computers.


    Once complete, the network would deliver broadband Internet almost anywhere radio waves can travel including poor neighborhoods where high-speed Internet access is now rare.


    And the city would likely offer the service either for free, or at costs far lower than the $35 to $60 a month charged by commercial providers, said the city's chief information officer, Dianah Neff.


    "If you're out on your front porch with a laptop, you could dial in, register at no charge, and be able to access a high speed connection," Neff said. "It's a technology whose time is here."


    If the plan becomes a reality, Philadelphia could leap to the forefront of a growing number of cities that have contemplated offering wireless Internet service to residents, workers and guests.


    Chaska, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis, began offering citywide wireless Internet access this year for $16 a month. The signal covers about 13 square miles.


    Corpus Christi, Texas, has been experimenting with a system covering 20 square miles that would be used (for now) only by government employees.


    Over the past year, Cleveland has added some 4,000 wireless transmitters in its University Circle, Midtown and lakefront districts. The service is free, and available to anyone who passes through the areas.


    Some 1,016 people were logged in to the system at 2:20 Tuesday afternoon, said Lev Gonick, chief information officer at Case Western Reserve University, which is spearheading the project and paying for a chunk of it.


    "We like to say it should be like the air you breathe free and available everywhere," Gonick said. "We look at this like PBS or NPR. It should be a public resource."


    In New York, city officials are negotiating to sell wireless carriers space on 18,000 lampposts for as much as $21.6 million annually. T-Mobile USA Inc., Nextel Partners Inc., IDT Corp. and three other wireless carriers want the equipment to increase their networks' capacity.


    One part of the 15-year deal is cheap Wi-Fi phones for neighborhoods where less than 95 percent of residents have home phones. IDT, which has agreed to market the cheaper phone service in those neighborhoods, would pay lower rates for poles there than other companies would in wealthier areas.


    Wireless technology has improved by leaps and bounds in recent years and become drastically less expensive.


    The new "wireless mesh" technology under consideration in Philadelphia has made it possible to expand those similar networks over entire neighborhoods, with the help of relatively cheap antennas.


    Neff estimated it would cost about $10 million to pay for the initial infrastructure for the system, plus $1.5 million a year to maintain.


    Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street, a technology buff who carries a wireless handheld computer everywhere he goes, appointed a 14-member committee last week to work out the specifics of his city's plan, including any fees, or restrictions on its use.
    Off to iPhone land...
  2. #2  
    Wow.

    TheHandlessKing
  3. #3  
    I'm a believer in wi-fi and this underscores why. If Palm doesn't come out with a wi-fi workable solution at launch (even at extra cost for a wi-fi card), I guess they are just content to use it as a chip to upgrade to the Treo 700.
  4. Iceman6's Avatar
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    #4  
    Multiple radios = faster battery drain. A LOT faster. My understanding is, the engineering samples of the MPx lasted less than a day with the Wi-Fi radio turned on, and several days with it turned off. The latest rumors indicate the final version of the MPx will have a much bigger battery, i.e., it's a brick. No thank you.

    If my city installs a cheap wi-fi network, I am pulling the plug on my DSL connection at home. Since my PDA phone is my mobile solution, I would rather have a reliable high-speed data service from a cellular provider, than a collection of hot spots that may or may not cover the areas that I'm traveling in. Chaska is one small suburb of the Twin Cities where I live.
  5. #5  
    I think if wi-fi radio is off, there is no faster drain. Battery isn't an issue as you'd only turn it on when you needed to use it, not leave it on all day with it in your pocket.
  6. Iceman6's Avatar
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    #6  
    You're saying just use the WiFi connection for outgoing calls and Internet access. I think that should be workable (it still drains the battery faster while it's ON), but I still don't see why it's a priority. I still want to buy my cellular data service by the month, not by the MB. Since I won't be saving any money, why do I care about WiFi?
  7. #7  
    And here's an additional pitch/analysis/warning: http://www.brighthand.com/article/pa...i-Fi_Bandwagon
    You may be right; I may be crazy. But, the Treo may be just the device I've been looking for.
  8. #8  
    I do alot of business in Philly and this would be great! I'll have to look into this further.
    Make It Happen!!
    If you don't, who will?
  9. #9  
    Why stop there? How about free water, sewage, electricity and cable tv? After all, cities like Philly have so much extra cash sitting around.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by convbcuda
    Why stop there? How about free water, sewage, electricity and cable tv? After all, cities like Philly have so much extra cash sitting around.
    Reliability? Our techs have enough problem keeping the network running in the office - I can just see the calls to the City offices now:

    "Listen buster, I can't log on to ebay and I'm about to lose my bid."

    "We'll have a truck out to your neighborhood by Tuesday."

    "You mean I'll be down for five days?"

    "I only said we'll send the truck. They'll need to review the problem and issue a work order to central for the necessary repair. They'll authorize a repair crew and parts replacement......should be up and running in a week or so, unless the warehouse is out of parts......"
    Remember, the "P" in PDA stands for personal.
    If it works for you, it is "P"erfect.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman6
    You're saying just use the WiFi connection for outgoing calls and Internet access. I think that should be workable (it still drains the battery faster while it's ON), but I still don't see why it's a priority. I still want to buy my cellular data service by the month, not by the MB. Since I won't be saving any money, why do I care about WiFi?
    I wasn't saying anything about using WiFi as VOIP. In fact I don't think would work unless you have something like Vonage if even that works (I bet they'd have to have some kind of PalmOS client). If you did, it would be really funny to make a call from your home phone when you are outside a friend's house. Another use would be to be by the phone if you just making a quick run to a convenience store or something. But considering that Vonage is a niche market right now, this is all bonus, happy stuff if applies to you (and works), but it probably doesn't.

    The real boon of WiFi to me is to be able actually use the Internet at non-dial up speeds. Whenever I've needed the Internet it's there, but it generally takes me 10-15 minutes (2 minutes a page, 5-7 pages) to find what I need. A lot of the time, I'm standing in a WiFi area, so it's just plain annoying. So in short it's not about saving money, it's about saving time.

    And here's another cool thing you could do if you had a WiFi Treo. You could set up the Treo to read video (not so interesting) or music (very interesting) from your WiFi network in your home. Just plug it into any stereo in-jack (or speakers) and you have the equivalent of an iPod. (You'd probably want to charge your Treo as well if you are doing this, but with removable batteries it's less of an issue). You could have 250 GBs of music streamed out to the pool. It would largely replace a Creative Labs Sound Blaster Wireless Music system. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...bosnation0e-20)

    That alone would make WiFi important to me. I thought that up in like 2 minutes, imagine what smarter, more inventive people could think up?
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by dstrauss
    Reliability? Our techs have enough problem keeping the network running in the office - I can just see the calls to the City offices now:

    "Listen buster, I can't log on to ebay and I'm about to lose my bid."

    "We'll have a truck out to your neighborhood by Tuesday."

    "You mean I'll be down for five days?"

    "I only said we'll send the truck. They'll need to review the problem and issue a work order to central for the necessary repair. They'll authorize a repair crew and parts replacement......should be up and running in a week or so, unless the warehouse is out of parts......"
    The way I understand it, it would be more akin to a street lamp out, a telephone poll down, or no electicity for an entire block. I figure that each WiFi beacon has to support more than one person, probably more than 100 people in some dense areas. You get 100 people calling about their cable being out and generally things get fixed a little faster. Probably due to the annoyance of having 100 people call.
  13. #13  
    I wonder how the phone/cable companies are reacting to this. All their investment and now they are going to be competing with someone without a profit motive? Yeesh!
  14. #14  
    wow one day this will be common place and every where you go it will be free wireless
    Nokia 3210 > Nokia 3310 >Palm Vx > Palm M105 >Treo 180g and Nokia 8850 > Treo 270 > Treo 600 > Sony TH55 > Tapwave Zodiac 2 > Treo 650 GSM > Imate KJam > Treo 750v

    Formerly Known As PRANKSTAR
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by KRamsauer
    I wonder how the phone/cable companies are reacting to this. All their investment and now they are going to be competing with someone without a profit motive? Yeesh!
    My guess is that they will adapt if this spreads. How will they adapt? I figure the city will outsource a lot of the service to them. I'm not an expert on who owns what pipes of the Internet, but the city will have to pay somebody for their main connections and then they'll have to hire some support for fixing things when they break, installing new equipment, etc. Sure all the phone/cable companies will take a hit in the wallet, by not getting individual customers, but they may make up with one big contract with the city. I think they'll lose money much akin to what happened when long distance became really cheap.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by PRANKSTAR
    wow one day this will be common place and every where you go it will be free wireless
    I cannot wait until that day comes.
    Make It Happen!!
    If you don't, who will?
  17. #17  
    This is the wrong way to do things. A private company like TMobile should do it and charge people who want the service. When I see adults acting like children, demanding that mommy and daddy governmnet pay for things for them, it really makes me sick.

    Grow up and pay for your internet access. Government should stick to things that only government should do. Internet access is NOT one of them.

    How do you think parents who send their kids to rathole Philly public schools are going to react to this?
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by convbcuda
    Government should stick to things that only government should do.
    Exactly what is it that "Government" should do? Schools , Police, Road Repair, Trash Removal are not free! It's something we all pay called taxes that provide these services. Trust me, the internet service will not be free either!
    Make It Happen!!
    If you don't, who will?
  19. #19  
    How much you wanna bet this is another way for the ultra-corrupt mayor of Philly to pay off one of his many cronies? Somewhere down the line we're gonna find one of the contractors to bulid this system gave a nice "contribution" to Mr. Street...
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1
  20. #20  
    This is probably a dumb question but here goes anyway: If you have a device like the Treo 600 that has wireless internet, why do you need Wi-Fi support? I've seen posts about using hotspots but if you can be on the internet from anywhere why the need for Wi-Fi?
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