2.18.2005

Municipal Wifi - random thoughts

I don't have time write the 8 page article I'd like to so here's a brain dump that I'll expand on when I find a minute...

There are heated debates surrounding the Philidelphia Wifi project, big government vs. free markets.

I like to think that the Internet is analogous to the early Interstate Highway system. Dwight Eisenhower and South Korea, peas in a pod.

How did Korea get to where it is? A recent study on Korea’s broadband leadership conducted by Britain’s Brunel University cited “pricing, infrastructure, demographics, geography, deregulation and clear user benefits”

http://www.chiefexecutive.net/depts/technology/197a.htm

"Chin says government policies aimed at improving the country’s telecom infrastructure and fast-paced telecom deregulation in the ’90s helped facilitate the journey. Some factors, however, are unique to Korea or Asia. The Brunel study cited the fact that 65 percent of Koreans live in clusters of high-rise apartment buildings, which makes it easier to roll out ultrafast VDSL broadband."

Random idea:
There are hundreds of versions of the Open Source Linux operating system. They are all designed to work with all sorts of hardware and so have complicated systems in place to detect and configure anything thrown at it with success is of varying degrees. My idea - create a linux distribution designed to work with a given set of hardware (mini-itx) which would act as a home router, firewall, Windows compatible file server, wireless access point and optionally as an email/web server. Configuration information would be stored on a cheap USB memory stick (check that, 2 USB memory sticks in a RAID 1 array). It would boot from a liveCD not the harddrive. Upgrades would be provieded in the form of new bootable CDs (ISOs) which would be backwards compatible with the information on the USB stick. The external HDD would be optional as all config data would be on the usb memory stick.

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