Monday, February 20, 2006

Dissecting the Municipal Network

Glenn Fleishman pulls apart Muni Wireless, back end from front end.

From the post:

"Most municipal networks that are being bid out combine several kinds of networks and several kinds of services: The coverage and criticism of municipally authorized and bid networks often focuses strictly on Wi-Fi. That’s just one element. Most municipal networks comprise six separate components.
  1. Wifi for mobility...
  2. Wifi for residences...
  3. Inra-node networks...
  4. Back-haul networks...
  5. Aggregation...
  6. Backbone...

The service side is equally broad, and can include:

  • Non-subscriber mobile access
  • Subscriber mobile access
  • Fixed residential access
  • Mobile city workers
  • Mobile public safety workers (often, however, on a separate frequency band)
  • Fixed business wireless broadband (WiMax like)
  • Fixed municipal wireless broadband (WiMax like)
  • Fixed smart devices (parking meters, utility meters)
  • Mobile city assets (vehicles and equipment tracking)
  • Fixed or mobile sensors
  • Commuter bus, train, ferry access
  • College campus access (for all purposes)
  • Indoor municipal building service for city workers
Most of the above are on the plate for every single serious urban municipal broadband RFP, which is one reason why fiber—despite its expense—is often cited as a reasonable part of a broadband plan. If not to the home or node, at least a fiber ring to deal with local backhaul and municipal needs."

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