Boston Linux & Unix (BLU) Home | Calendar | Mail Lists | List Archives | Desktop SIG | Hardware Hacking SIG
Wiki | Flickr | PicasaWeb | Video | Maps & Directions | Installfests | Keysignings
Linux Cafe | Meeting Notes | Blog | Linux Links | Bling | About BLU

BLU Discuss list archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Discuss] satellite Internet vs. fixed wireless

I wrote:
> But that hadn't happened. Because [satellite Internet] isn't a viable
> option.

I forgot to mention one of the other technologies that adds further
evidence to satellite being inadequate - the various schemes to put
balloons, blimps, and drones at low elevations with radio relays.

On the other hand, they've been even less successful than satellite
Internet, as I don't think any haven gotten out of the prototype stage.

Shirley M?rquez D?lcey wrote:
> MMDS is an awkward solution for a dense urban area like Boston. The
> antennas need to have clear line of sight to the central site, which
> means they have to be mounted on the roof in most cases, and so an
> MMDS installation is not feasible on most rental housing. It could be
> an effective solution for small cities and towns and rural areas,
> especially where property ownership is the norm, though hilly terrain
> could make it challenging to provide service in some areas.

Agreed. The fixed-wireless service I'm familiar with also strives for
line of sight, including taking the effort to mount the transceiver high
up on the exterior of a wooden building, even though the manufacturer
claims the tech works with indoor antennas. It seems to tolerate going
through tree tops.

> I believe the cost of the equipment is now roughly comparable so a
> new fixed wireless deployment would probably use WiMAX or LTE, as it
> would offer additional possibilities such as mobile internet...

Yes, it is hard to imagine that any large ISP today wouldn't use LTE so
they could go after the vast mobile market.

Wholesale, data-only LTE providers are probably the most practical means
of achieving broadband competition.

The big limitation with LTE is spectrum scarcity. Or at least the
appearance of it, as the telcos are sitting on a bunch they aren't
using.  (There are also newer techniques in development that use
spectrum more efficiently.)

Using something other than LTE, or LTE on a non-standard frequency, is a
work-around a small fixed-wireless provider could use. If they are
suppling the equipment, it could be customized to their frequencies.

In the category of "it'll never happen", another approach to the
competition problem is the government could regulate cell towers,
including the transceivers, and require that owners provide wholesale
access at a fair price.

That would probably be the least cost change for the government to
implement that would have the biggest impact on national broadband
competition. Of course lots of effort would go into determining just
what a "fair price" is, which would no doubt keep a pile of bureaucrats
busy, so there would be ongoing operational costs. (Plus, of course,
defending the inevitable lawsuits from the telecoms.)

Dan Ritter wrote:
> ...TowerStream service in Cambridge...

That's one of the companies I was thinking of. Internet & Telephone
(formerly Netway, in North Andover) is a small ISP that did some
fixed-wireless in the early 2000 time frame. (No mention of it on their
site now. They now resell Comcast Business Class Internet.)

> Their website currently advertises a special price of $500/month for
> 5Mb/s service. That's... not good.

Yup, not practical for a small business.


Tom Metro
Venture Logic, Newton, MA, USA
"Enterprise solutions through open source."
Professional Profile:

BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
We also thank MIT for the use of their facilities.

Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS!

Boston Linux & Unix /