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« Intelligence test | Main | Skube »

Dec 04, 2005

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Jon Lowder

Seeing as how Greensboro has been handing Winston-Salem its lunch when it comes to the whole blogging thing, I'm gonna have to step up and say that at least 1/3 of the Triad governments has stepped up to offer a level of public, free, wi-fi.

Winston-Salem has been offering free wi-fi in the Fourth Street corridor for a couple of years. Information is here: http://www.cityofws.org/wifion4th/

What I found interesting is that the reporter mentioned Greensboro and High Point but not Winston-Salem in the article. (Full disclosure: I read the article quickly so I might have missed it if W-S was mentioned). I understand that the N&R has ceded coverage of the western part of the Triad to the Journal, but it would have been worth a mention if for no other reason than to compare the cities.

Rick Hollowell

Sue Schultz put together a very good article on wireless technologies but missed a significant factor that actually will place the Triad ahead of the curve compared with most of the nation. A company called Clearwire is in the early stages of launching a system in the Triad that will provide secure high-speed wireless broadband service for around the same price as cable modem services. While the service currently requires use of an external modem similar in size to a cable modem, smaller WiMax versions are being developed. Only a handful of similar systems exist in the country, but they are growing fast. Unlike Wi-Fi, services like Clearwire utilize secure, licensed frequencies and a cellular-type system architecture to make the entire Triad a hot spot; not just a coffee shop or section of downtown. Also, the technology used by Clearwire is capable of mobile operation and supports VoIP. So, while someone could attempt to construct a Wi-Fi system city-wide, it appears a more reliable alternative may already exist. I have the service, it works great. I'm also a consultant to companies launching similar systems across the country and am proud the Triad will be on the map as one of the first areas to have wide-area coverage of this type of high speed wireless broadband service.

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