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Wi-fi for Dublin

UPI and the Sunday Business Post report on plans for a municipal wi-fi network in Dublin.

I think this is a brilliant idea. We should blanket Dublin with cheap wi-fi, the same as has been done in Tallinn in Estonia. The only problem is that the project as proposed is totally unrealistic. There is no way that the whole of Dublin, a city of at least 100 square kilometres, can be covered with low-pwer radio service for 10 million euros, the figure proposed. All that could be realistically covered would be some of the major streets in the very centre. There would also be a lot of maintenance costs.

I would suggest a different way of doing this: use FON hotspots. Start by installing FON hotspots (which FON would supply for 5 euros, maybe cheaper. Begin by installing these hotspots inside and around the windows of all the major municipal and school buildings. This would give the system the critical mass it needs. By partnering with business owners, the rest of the system would be quickly covered. The city could also make some revenue off the system by selling day passes.

A system like this could be put in place with an investment by the city council of as low as 100,000 euros, and with relatively low running costs. That wouldn’t cover the whole city of course. But the private sector would provide for the rest.

Read what Martin Varsavsky has said on the subject.

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  1. The whole FON thing sounds good… but to ask a silly question:

    I’m guessing that when you sign up to broadband you agree to something in your telco’s T&Cs about not reselling your bandwidth?

  2. You’re not reselling. You’re sharing with the FON community.