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Tempe, AZ To Provide Wireless Broadband

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the they-won-one dept.

Wireless Networking 199

jangobongo writes "City officials of Tempe, Arizona are laying claim to being the first major metropolitan area in the United States to deploy citywide wireless Internet access. MobilePro Corp. and Strix Systems have been contracted to provide a mesh network covering the entire city, which is to be in place by late summer or early fall. Downtown Tempe and the Arizona State University will have free access available, while the rest of the city will be offered monthly subscriptions ($20 for dial-up speed and $30 to $40 for high-speed wireless). Local broadband suppliers have been quiet on this, unlike elsewhere."

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Montreal? (1)

Asshat Canada (804093) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388103)

hahhahaha

Re:Montreal? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12388196)

What is the joke in this, other than the fact that Montreal is home to many losers and even more non-bathing whores?

If this is a social club or something, do you have any prerequisites for application? 'Cause I want to join.

Re:Montreal? (0, Troll)

montreal!hahahahah (880120) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388214)

Montreal is also known as "Canada's Dirty Underwear"
We have such tourist-friendly features as:
The world's dirtiest french people!
Give us a look! hahahhahah

Re:Montreal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12388274)

Yes, yes. Now I get the joke!

The next time I am in Montreal, I will spit on the ground and curse the citizens. Or maybe I will curse the ground and spit on the citizens.

I look forward to having a lovely time, my new friends! Hahahaha!

Re:Montreal? (1)

montreal!hahahaha (880095) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388370)

I partly agree (muahahahahahaha)

winter home (0)

soupdevil (587476) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388112)

Nice. Tempe moves up a few notches on my list of second home possibilities.

Re:winter home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12388126)

I live in Tempe.. go to ASU.. I guessed that this was coming soon..

Re:winter home (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12388131)

Well why the FUCK didn't you tell the REST OF US?

Re:winter home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12388381)

It's a dry heat.

Re:winter home (1)

soupdevil (587476) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388393)

Moderation gripe: How can that post be overrated, if it has not been previously rated? Hopefully the meta mods can sort that one out...

Re:winter home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12388479)

Moderation gripe: How can that post be overrated, if it has not been previously rated? Hopefully the meta mods can sort that one out...

You might do well to understand the moderation system before griping about it. Hint: when was the last time you meta modded an overrated or underrated mod?

They're quiet because.. (5, Insightful)

geniusj (140174) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388129)

they can compete with Tempe's pricing. They're not offering it for free everywhere or for something like $15/mo as has been suggested elsewhere.

Re:They're quiet because.. (1)

poserFish (877917) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388258)

I live here in Tempe and I am super thrilled. I have had to deal with both Cox (local cable provider) and the City of Tempe. Given a choice I would choose Tempe any day. I think most local residents around here feel the same way. The local broadband providers SHOULD be scared. Bravo Tempe!

So many new opportunities (1)

vivin (671928) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388303)

Now that I've gotten over my "Tempe/ASU Pride", I'll try to make some observations. I think this is pretty good first of all (like I already stated). More cities should take the cue and follow Tempe. First, I think other cities in AZ should do it to. Preferrably bordering cities like Chandler, Scottsdale and Mesa and even Phoenix Metro. Chandler should team up with Intel (Intel drives a lot of Chandler's economy) to use WiMAX (something Intel is pushing anyway) around the city. That would be something I'd like to see. I also like the amount of choice and competition this move is offering. The pricing is really competitive. I like the fact that you get to choose between different providers - it certainly will help fuel good, healthy competition and you won't get stuck with just one person. It will definitely make the companies do their best to provide good service. Just having one wouldn't give any incentive. This network will also teach some valuable lessons about security. I'm sure there are a bunch of script kiddies at ASU who would love to try all kinds of crap on the network. It would definitely provide a good security stress test for the network.

Re:So many new opportunities (2, Insightful)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388376)

Actually, Chandler is looking at doing city-wide WIFI with free downtown access, just like Tempe.

Re:They're quiet because.. (1, Insightful)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388308)

Further, they will likely see increased demand outside of the city's network from people who get used to the "free" access and soon cannot live without it at home.

they won't have to pay for cable or phone service (1)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388432)

the good thing about this for Tempeans is that they can get the 40 dollar broadband and can get use VOIP and download free videos. No need to pay for the telco's phone or the cable co's cable tv.

Local Broadband Supplies Should Not Worry (4, Insightful)

$criptah (467422) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388138)

If I had a deal like that in my hometown, I would subscribe; however, I would not shut my home connection down by any means.

Let's face it, I have it pretty good: a static IP, a connection that never goes down, an ISP that filters all my mail and good support. Why would I cancel that? Wireless is nice to have, but doing it old school does not have to conflict with that.

Re:Local Broadband Supplies Should Not Worry (1)

DoctorVic (716683) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388202)

Agreed. I live in nearby Phoenix and have a wonderfull broadband connection with a nice 4mbps connection which I would not give up even if there were free access at my home. I do work in downtown Tempe, so the free wireless is a nice touch when bored at lunch. Fire up the laptop and surf the porn off of the companies netowrk! Can't beat that!

Steve down the street has open acccesspoint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12388147)

Yeah, so. another city is doing a "mee to!" and doing the wireless dance. Bets on how it fails because these municipalities have no clue what it takesto do this?

Re:Steve down the street has open acccesspoint (2, Insightful)

will592 (551704) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388203)

Ummm, I know you're an AC ... but I'll bite. Tempe isn't just another city. Arizona State University fills Tempe to the brim. They know technology at ASU and I wouldn't be surprised if they're the first 'major' city to roll this out successfuly. This being said...Tempe is hardly a 'major' city. Good job ASU!

Chris

Re:Steve down the street has open acccesspoint (1)

poserFish (877917) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388284)

Tempe has a GREAT track record for these big projects! Don't write them off yet...

Re:Steve down the street has open acccesspoint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12388369)

AC Said: Duurrrrrr, i'm an uninformed corporate whore who is spouting off gibberish I don't know anything about. +1 Libertarian!

When a city wants something done, do you think the mayor goes out himself and personally does it? Last I checked my mayor does not in fact clean sewage systems, lay roads, survey land plots, plant trees, oh, and set up access points. They hire companies to do it, dumbass.

In this case though, given that the university gets access for free, its probably really the university thats running the show here.

Either way, the city or the university will hire or have the intelligence on hand to do this.

Re:Steve down the street has open acccesspoint (3, Insightful)

E-Rock (84950) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388418)

They didn't hire anyone. The University built it out for them at their cost.

Great for me (1)

Spua7 (781257) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388157)

I hope this really works out well. Not only will it start a rise of interest in this kind of service but will personally benefit me. I frequent that area but do not live there. It just opens up the doors for all kinds of stuff good and bad.

I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (2, Insightful)

voodoo_bluesman (255725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388163)

For being such a geek, I don't like the sound of this. All I see if a big expense being picked up by the taxpayer. Things of this nature shouldn't be subsidized by the public, as they have nothing to do with ensuring civil liberties (which should be government's top priority on a very short list).

It's just not right to make everyone pay for something only some will use.

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (4, Insightful)

soupdevil (587476) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388191)

OK, so what about power, gas, water, sewer, garbage? I don't see anything wrong with cities providing utilities. They should be able to run this at cost or at a profit, and they're providing a service that private industry hasn't gotten around to doing yet.

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (2, Insightful)

voodoo_bluesman (255725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388296)

Economics tells us that there is a reason that private enterprise hasn't gotten around to it: demand.

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12388339)

Yeah, sucks to be you if you want something nobody else wants.

But hey, isn't captialism just teh most awesomest system EVAR$!@%!!@%(@! I mean, who needs a 10 megabit connection for less than a thousand dollars a month when we have all these millionaire CEOs?!

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (2, Insightful)

voodoo_bluesman (255725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388351)

If it wasn't for those 'millionaire CEOs', we wouldn't have much of what is available today at such a low cost.

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (0)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388683)

If it wasn't for those 'millionaire CEOs', we wouldn't have much of what is available today at such a low cost.

Bullshit. Executives produce nothing. They're parasites, and they raise prices for everyone else. Pretty much any time anyone is getting paid a million or more a year and/or uses "C*O" as his job title, you can be sure he's not doing any useful work.

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (1)

soupdevil (587476) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388375)

Demand is usually a motivator if it can be proven profitable. The city has infrastructure from services that they already provide (i.e. light and power poles, extensive widely dispersed real estate, etc.) that make it feasible for them, but perhaps not for private entities.

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12388391)

Wrong. It's about the price. They won't offer it if they can't get the price they want. The demand is there. It's good to see the elected officials filling in where "economics" fail the people.

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (1)

voodoo_bluesman (255725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388476)

"They won't offer it if they can't get the price they want. The demand is there. It's good to see the elected officials filling in where "economics" fail the people."

Pointing guns at people at forcing the money out of their pocket to subsidize a luxory doesn't sound 'good' to me.

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388204)

What if the city puts them in, and the ISP leases them from the city? Then the city actually makes money off the AP's, and then you pay less taxes? JMO, but that sounds like a pretty sweet setup to me...

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (1)

voodoo_bluesman (255725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388235)

Why don't you just let private industry put it in? If there is enough demand, it will happen. Otherwise, you're still asking everyone else to subsidize an industry that will never be run as well as it could be.

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (1, Informative)

op00to (219949) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388359)

Can you prove that private industry can run this better than a public endeavor, or are you just parroting the same old tired talking points?

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (1)

voodoo_bluesman (255725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388465)

Can you provide moral justification for forcing an entire population to subsidize this luxury whether they want it or not?

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388601)

Moral justification? Give me a break. If the elected officials you voted for in city hall feel this is a wise investment for the city, deal with it or vote them out. No need for "moral justification".

The market for wireless access has been around for a while, and private industry has yet to step up to the plate.

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (1)

voodoo_bluesman (255725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388660)

Voted in or not, I don't see how any of it is justified. To support a subsidy on a luxury is just asking for trouble and is stealing from the rest of the public that doesn't use the service.

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388582)

Because private industry isn't always interested in getting into it. Sometimes it takes a kick in the pants from the public sector to get industry going on something.

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388302)

All depends on how much they sell. For that price, I wouldn't be buying. That last think I need is yet another $40/month bill. Telephone, cable TV, DSL, netflix, cellphone, newspaper, now wireless... how many different bills will consumers put up with for essentially the same thing?

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (1)

voodoo_bluesman (255725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388317)

Exactly: then what happens if the city cannot take in enough to at least break even?

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (2, Funny)

SpaceAdmiral (869318) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388234)

I agree. The only purpose of government is to ensure a decent butter-churn in every home.

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12388246)

All I see if a big expense being picked up by the taxpayer. Things of this nature shouldn't be subsidized by the public, as they have nothing to do with ensuring civil liberties (which should be government's top priority on a very short list).

No, you're right. Close the public libraries and burn the books! Rezone public parks for landfill!

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (1)

voodoo_bluesman (255725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388282)

Burn the books? I'm promoting private enterprise, not a rebirth of the Nazi party.

My point is simple: if there is demand, let private enterprise supply. This puts more money into the pockets of individuals and in turn leads to injection in the economy.

Re:Non-Monopolized Internet (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388639)

The only way to privatize Internet connections back to the old Mom and Pop ISP days is to have a single entity own and allow usage to all parties who wish to provide service.

However this entity may not sell line (or wireless) access directly to consumers, but rather lease the bandwidth or network infrastructure to the Providers.

"The Providers" (I'm doing those quotes with my hand by the way) in turn provide the IP addresses and other nice things like email servers, new groups, and various other things that ISP's provide at a local level. They would also provide technical support to the "end user" (more hand gestures here... I'm pretending I'm explaining this to Congress mind you).

The "providers" would compete internally providing support.

Now the "line owners" may or may not have to be a single entity. They could compete as such as Cable vs DSL does now, but currently most of the times the Cable company not owns the lines they provide the service so the "end user" has no choice in his provider. The same goes for his Phone Company and DSL though you do get a bit more choice on the matter with people like Speak Easy.

Think it as Teddy Roosevelt breaking up the Rail and steel barons of the 1900's. The only way sometimes to have Capitalism and Innovation is through some sort of company breaking regulation.

Though it's easier to just borrow your neighbors' unsecured wireless connection and forget economics all together. (You dirty commie!)

If most of the Internet is like trash... (2, Insightful)

unfortunateson (527551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388285)

... then it makes sense for the city to do it.
My village of about 60,000 includes trash pickup as a village service, paid by taxpayers. It's cheaper for them to contract it like that than each homeowner to do it on their own (I don't think businesses get a free ride here, so they're subsidizing my trash heap, most likely).

The only ones whining about these things are the service providers hoping to make more money off individuals.

And like trash, everybody, not just residents, benefits. Tourists like the trash they can find on the internet.

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12388325)

Taxpayers aren't subsidizing it. Here's the text from the official listserve release:

For Immediate Release

April 26, 2005

Contact: Shelley Hearn

Communication and Media Relations Director

Telephone: 480/350-8906

Tempe Wi-Fi project provides city-wide wireless access

TEMPE, Ariz. - Tempe will be a first-of-its-kind community to offer city-wide wireless access to residents, businesses, students and visitors. On April 21, the Tempe City Council voted to award a five-year contract for the wireless broadband services. The city of Tempe has teamed up with MobilePro Corporation to make the wireless network available. The project will be managed by MobilePro's Neoreach Wireless Division.

The network, known as WazTempe, will allow subscribers to select from a variety of service options. Services will be offered on an annual, monthly, daily and hourly basis. The network will allow access to multiple Internet service providers (ISP) and Voice-over-IP (VOIP), which allows telephone calls to be made over computer networks.

Subscribers will be able to access the wireless network from anywhere at any time. All Wi-Fi enabled devices will have free access to the network landing page. Users will be automatically directed to the network landing page, which will contain information about MobliePro and instructions on how to connect. Access to City of Tempe and Arizona State University (ASU) services will also be available from the landing page free of charge. Free Internet access is already offered from select areas of downtown Tempe and the ASU campus.

The agreement with MobilePro includes a second network that will be deployed on the same infrastructure which will be used by city of Tempe employees. Police, Fire, Water, Traffic and Development Services personnel will utilize this Wi-Fi enabled service to enhance the services they provide to the community. The implementation of the Wi-Fi project demonstrates Tempe's dedication and commitment as "the smart place to be."

Good Point! (0)

Uptown Joe (819388) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388383)

The first time that a little girl sees the laptop screen of the bored college student sitting outside surfing porn, her mom is going to sue pants off of the city because they provided the internet connection!

- then they would have to institute a ton of filtering and wreck it. Better to just leave it to the ISPs. The internet is almost a utility level service, but it's not as simple as delivering water or picking up trash.

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (3, Informative)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388396)

At $20-$40 a month per subscriber, they'd have to have either a huge chunk of graft or have no subscribers to run the system into the red. If its the latter, then the system will probably end up just being run by the university. If its the former, some local news show will have some "Major Expose" and "blast the story wide open" on prime time tv where nobody will continue to care.

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388618)

The federal governments job is to ensure civil liberties. The local government should be more involved with helping citizens manage their day to day life. That includes utilities, schools, roads, and emergency services.

I'd consider Internet access a civil liberty anyway as it's required to fully exercise your right to freedom of speech in this age.

Re:I Don't See This as Something to Celebrate (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388651)

It's just not right to make everyone pay for something only some will use.

Most of my taxes go to things I don't use. And, you are assuming that it is a money loser. I haven't seen anything that shows they are planning to lose money on it. Perhaps they expect it to make money, after all, they are charging for it. Perhaps the wireless connection will replace higher cost existing connections for city employees.

Good Show (3, Interesting)

Lostie (772712) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388167)

This is what's needed, local councils and the government need to provide investment for both wireless and wired high-speed net access. This way, even the rural areas can get it, how long will it be before prospective buyers of your rural house start to lose interest because of no broadband in your area? It is fast becoming an essential commodity.

And in this case, the fixed-line telcos now have some competition, which is always a good thing(tm).

Re:Good Show (1)

DoctorVic (716683) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388256)

I have to agree with this reasoning. Whenever I have to move, even in town, one top criteria is availability of high-speed internet access, wireless or otherwise. Before broadband cable became available throughout virtually the entire city (Phoenix), I passed up several potentially nice areas becasue the thought of going back to dialup scared the shit out of me. I think this is a sweet idea.

Re:Good Show (2, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388456)

What pisses me off right now is that its easier to get a good coverage map for a cellphone then it is to find out if you can get DSL in a house BEFORE you move in.

I look at these apartment locators and house listing services, and think that people are missing a major business opportunity... partner up with some DSL provider (pick one) and mark each listing that you can get DSL at that house... new subscribers for the DSL and tech savvy people buying the house.

New cell for me (3, Insightful)

Murdoc (210079) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388178)

Hey, if I had that in my city, now that I have Skype on my PocketPC Axim, it'd be just like a cell phone, but with cheap/free long distance! Woot!

Go Canada (5, Informative)

Godboy_g (794101) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388183)

We've had city wide wireless available for quite some time now. It's offered for FREE too. For those interested, I live in Fredericton New Brunswick Canada! Go Canada!

Re:Go Canada (2, Funny)

the MaD HuNGaRIaN (311517) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388205)

Let's see.....Tempe climate Vs Anywhere in Canada climate.

Uh, no---we're not interested.

Re:Go Canada (1)

montreal!hahahaha (880095) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388399)

Go Cana^HHHH Montreal! hahahahahahahaha

Re:Go Canada (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388422)

Toques are good, eh?

Mexico (2, Interesting)

hlopez (220083) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388190)

I mexico there is basically only one phone company, TELMEX. Everyone buys there dsl from them, (sure there are 2 or 3 cable providers but thats only in 3 cities.) as part of there package you can use your same user/pass while at there hotspots. This places are located everywere: malls, downtown, random streets, airports, ect. As a result you get free (all ready paid for) access to the internet almost nation wide.

Re:Mexico (1)

gg3po (724025) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388439)

Where I used to live everything was TELNOR. Are they the same company?

DANG. (2, Interesting)

iroll (717924) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388192)

Tempe is one of the best-run cities in the valley (make that THE BEST). As one of the only land-locked cities, the powers-that-be are interested in doing more than just sprawling out another patch of stripmalls and stucco houses--they're being forced to compete for business and residents by improving services and density. Yes, Daisy, competition works in government, too!

Unfortunately, it's making housing prices go through the roof (even compared to the rest of the valley), and it's pricing some of us young urban professionals out (even though I really wanted to stay and 'vote' my support for Tempe with my feet & taxes). Hopefully some of that free wireless will make it accross the river into Phoenix, where I had to move :(

Re:DANG. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12388321)

housing prices also go through the roof because of the demand placed on housing by ASU students (something about the ASU dorms not being able to house even half the student poulation plus living off campus means not having to follow ResLife polices).

Re:DANG. (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388549)

>Tempe is one of the best-run cities in the valley

You just love Sherriff Joe, don't you?

> As one of the only land-locked cities

I heard this a lot, and never understood what was meant by it. It's locked in by municipal boundaries, not by geological ones. The 202 and the 10 and Mesa do not make it some kind of island.

Manhattan is landlocked. Kauai is landlocked. Tempe could annex Mesa or Guadalupe or Chandler, it has a long way to go before it hits any mountain ranges or oceans.

Tucson, on the other hand, *is* surrounded by mountains.

Re:DANG. (1)

angle_slam (623817) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388614)

I heard this a lot, and never understood what was meant by it. It's locked in by municipal boundaries, not by geological ones. The 202 and the 10 and Mesa do not make it some kind of island. Manhattan is landlocked. Kauai is landlocked. Tempe could annex Mesa or Guadalupe or Chandler, it has a long way to go before it hits any mountain ranges or oceans.

But Tempe can't just decide to annex Chandler or Mesa because Chandler and Mesa would never allow it and have the size (basically limitless because both cities can expand with few limits) to prevent it. Ergo, they are landlocked.

Re:DANG. (1)

angle_slam (623817) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388637)

Unfortunately, it's making housing prices go through the roof

It's just simple economics. Because there is a limited amount of land, the price has to go up. Phoenix, Chandler, Scottsdale, Mesa can all just grow outward. Some people may not like sprawl, but sprawl is what prevents housing prices from going "through the roof."

Good old Tempe (1)

vivin (671928) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388195)

Just wanted to say Good job. I wish they did it while I was actually living in Tempe and not when I moved out to Chandler after I graduated from ASU. Otherwise I wouldn't have had to leech from my neighbor. Crap... did I just say that out loud? Uh I mean, I was sharing his connection. Yeah.

Re:Good old Tempe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12388515)

you live on Don Carlos?

great... (1)

SolusSD (680489) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388197)

AFTER I move out of Tempe, AZ (gets worse) to the lovely city of Lincoln, Nebraska (yuck)

Re:great... (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388520)

I moved to Tucson after Tempe, and couldn't be happier.

What about the other rural areas? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12388201)

There are a lot of other smaller cities that have already implemented this: http://chaska.net/ [chaska.net]
in Minnesota, and Minneapolis is planning on rolling out a city-wide privately owned network soon:
http://www.startribune.com/stories/789/5342733.htm l/ [startribune.com]

Cool stuff either way!

Wireless broadband gaming Tempe style (3, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388208)

Get everyone in Tempe AZ to get with it and get a massive online Sims game going. Everyone can live out a life and never leave the house.
The benefits will be enormous. Traffic will be lighter and delivery & gaming support services will reap great rewards!

Not really necessary (1)

them3ssage (879891) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388228)

Most excellent, if anything this will make other isp's get a clue and start lowering their rates.

Okay, American Slashdotters: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12388231)

Raise your hands if your city has NOT announced some harebrained muni wireless scheme to bolster public opinion of local gov and keep tabs on citizens at the same time?

Do I hear crickets?

A new destination city ... (1)

jabberwock (10206) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388233)

for people who have lost everything but their laptops.

How's the public library?

Re:A new destination city ... (1)

poserFish (877917) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388304)

Pretty damn good actually...

Wish I had it here (2, Interesting)

Nonillion (266505) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388240)

Where I live my only option is Comcast. I use my T-Mobile hotspot service (sync T-1) with my laptop but would gladly sign up for something like this. Hell is going to freeze over before I pay Comcast 49.95 a month for their restrictive take it bundled or else Internet service.

Re:Wish I had it here (1)

SpaceAdmiral (869318) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388329)

I used to do technical/billing support for Comcast HSI and I couldn't believe what their customers had to pay.

I pay $25 per month. I live in Canada, though, so maybe it's an irrelevant comparison.

Re:Wish I had it here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12388502)

Cox (in Tempe) charges $49.95 per month for cable broadband, minus $10 if you have another Cox service. Qwest (in Tempe) charges $39.99 per month for DSL.

This will be interesting!

That's nice, but major? (1)

unfortunateson (527551) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388248)

According to a quick googling, Tempe is the fifth-largest city in Arizona with a population of 160,000. It's considered part of the Phoenix metro area by the Census administration http://www.census.gov/population/cen2000/phc-t3/ta b03.txt [census.gov] , but if it were its own, it would only rank, say around 180 or so (giving it some credit for a metro area).

Wake me when something important happens, like Peoria (#118 at about 350,000), or Shreveport (#105 at just under 400,000).

Re:That's nice, but major? (1)

DoctorVic (716683) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388298)

I doubt something like this will stay isolated to the Tempe area for very long. The Phoenix Metro area is pretty damn big. To say Tempe is a separate city is to merely recognize an imaginary border. We are really one large city with no physical borders of over 2.5 milion people. Even for those of us in Phoenix, Mesa, Peoria, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler and the other 'cities', the wait may not be to terribly long.

Re:That's nice, but major? (1)

kbielefe (606566) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388406)

While I have to agree with you based on population, Tempe is relatively centrally located and has a more "clean and modern" feel to it compared to Phoenix. There are many more people that work, shop, go to school, and play in Tempe than those that live there. Think of it as more of a spread out downtown area rather than a city on its own and you will see the significance.

$20 for dialup speed?? (1)

Samurai Cat! (15315) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388280)

Why would anyone bother when they can get dialup for $10 these days? :P

Re:$20 for dialup speed?? (1)

DoctorVic (716683) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388314)

How's your dialup connection on your laptop in the middle of the park? I bet this would be better.

Re:$20 for dialup speed?? (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388644)

I think they should offer the dial-up speeds free and only charge for the higher speeds. That way every citizen has access as well as visitors but they can still make a profit off the deal.

This doesn't look that great (1)

the_bahua (411625) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388319)

Last I heard, Tempe was not its own metropolitan area, but a segment of the Phoenix metro. Perhaps it has outgrown its neighbor.

Yes, it's nice to see high-speed wireless access all over town, but for one, I don't like to see a city government throwing tax dollars at it when there are other things to worry about, and for another, why create a monopoly with public funds?

I would understand if it was going to offer free(or even cheap) access to things like city services, and public access-type content, but they're talking about offering commercial wireless access to the people in the city that can afford it. On top of that, they're talking about it costing about the same as commercial cable or DSL, which is unequivocally superior and more secure.

I like the idea of the whole town getting access, but I think they're going about it all wrong. It could be a valuable civil service, but instead, it's a sweetheart monopoly deal.

What about Philadelphia? (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388323)

Quoth the article: It's official: Tempe will become the first major metropolitan area in the United States to deploy citywide wireless Internet access.

Philadelphia has the same project going. Philly's project I think still needs city council approval, but you can't lay claim to this title until the network is installed, tested and running.

I will say I won't be surprised if the philly project does get bogged down, but then again Mayor Street got the sports complex through city council a couple years back, he might be able to force this one through too.

Seems to be a little publicity grabbing going on here.

Re:What about Philadelphia? (1)

E-Rock (84950) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388446)

City wide may be a plan, but the downtown area was done and active months ago.

Re:What about Philadelphia? (1)

tachyonflow (539926) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388538)

Yeah, I think Tempe may be jumping the gun a bit on their claim to be the first. Southaven (a suburb of Memphis) has been offering a similar service [magnoliawave.com] for quite a while, now. It's nowhere near as populous as Tempe, though.

we all know where this is headed... (0, Troll)

loqi (754476) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388353)

city officials and public safety workers will get free wireless on the job

And public safety in Tempe plummets to new lows...

Awesome (1)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388366)

I'm probably going to ASU (Arizona State University) after I graduate from high school. Looks like I'll be able to get free wireless access by the time I'm there.

Think of all the FREE unsecured connections!! :D (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12388417)

Wish i lived there, just think of all the unsecured connections that will be around to leach off of! Sweet Deal!

"Major Metropolitan Area?" Tempe? (0)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388500)

Tempe is a pretty small town, even as college towns go. It has exactly one eclectic coffee shop, exactly one music venue for jam bands, and just a couple of decent neighborhoods.

Now, if you were talking about "Tempe AND Scottsdale AND Mesa" you might be getting into "major metropolitan area" territory.

"Major metropolitan area" would be, Baltimore, or Denver.

Tempe Arizona is a smallish college town. Oh, and nightclubs close promptly at midnight and shut off the band and kick out the clientele. And there's no smoking. And all that stuff you heard about weed being legal there? That was only for about a month, and now any possession is a felony.

I still can't understand why slashdot thinks (4, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388535)

this is a good idea, besides the socialist factor played out here all the time.

Face it, you are giving government control of the medium. You are giving them the power to censor the internet when they control it like this. You are already seeing the FEC trying to graple the internet for political speech (which the 1st ammendment is there to protect at its BASE!!!). Giving the government the power to distrubute connections is tantamount to giving them the rights to distribute newspapers and sell "spectrums" for TV/Radio stations to broadcast on (whcih they already do).

Look where the FCC has gone with its control over that medium, they have been cracking down on "questionable content" for a long time.

Be careful what you wish for.

We need free wireless access in public spaces (3, Interesting)

Pet Doctor (549054) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388580)

Broadband access has become increasingly essential to economic growth, health care, and education. What electric power and telephones were to the 20th Century, broadband access will be to the 21st. Towns that don't have affordable broadband lose jobs. Their children suffer a serious disadvantage in college or in the workforce, where fluency with computers and the Internet is increasingly assumed as a matter of course. Communities without broadband cannot take advantage of new breakthroughs in tel-medicine or the economic opportunities created by telecommuting. Even in crowded urban areas, the availability of broadband can vary from one neighborhood to another, stranding one neighborhood on the wrong side of the "digital divide" while two, three or even four broadband providers serve their neighbors.

Municipalities have a valuable role to play in filing this gap. Municipalities have a long history of providing necessary services for citizens and stimulating local businesses. In the 20th century, municipalities built power plants and telephone lines when private services did not move fast enough. Our competitive power and telecoms industries today demonstrate that these services by municipalities complement private industry rather than compete with it. In addition, municipalities have a long history of spending money to benefit their citizens and encourage business development. They should have the same opportunity to offer public hot spots and broadband access.

From 2001- 2004 the United States dropped from 4th to 13th place in global rankings of broadband Internet usage. Today, most U.S. homes can access only 'basic' broadband, among the slowest, most expensive and least reliable in the developed world. Nearly all Japanese have access to 'high-speed' broadband, with an average connection time 16 times faster than in the United States - for only about $22 a month. South Korea, which has the world's greatest percentage of broadband users, and urban China, which last year surpassed the U.S. in the number of broadband users.

The solution is not to protect the baby bells and cable companies from competition; it is instead to encourage more competition. Communities across the country are experimenting with ways to supplement private service. And these experiments are producing unexpected economic returns. Some are discovering that free wireless access increases the value of public spaces just as street lamps do. And just as street lamps don't make other types of lighting obsolete, free wireless access in public spaces won't kill demand for access in private spaces. Yet we will never recognize these externalities unless municipalities are free to experiment.

Source: NY Times & http://www.pbs.org/now/ [pbs.org]

RE" Frist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12388606)

The city of San Francisco has had F R E E wireless for well over a year!

Tempe, for those who haven't been there... (1)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388624)

For those of you who aren't familiar with Tempe, it's quite a hip place to hang out. Actually, if you fly to Phoenix International Airport in the evening, your plane will descend over Tempe, where you'll see a beautiful scene of the river, lights all around, restaurants, clubs, and all kinds of other fun.

Ironically, Tempe is very close To Scotsdale, which some people prefer to call Snobsdale. It's the "high class" part of greater Phoenix, with some of the fanciest hotels, restaurants, and malls around. I'm actually a bit surprised that it wasn't Scotsdale which announced plans for wireless broadband, considering that this is where you'd expect to see trendy executives on a business trip sipping a four dollar coffee and punching away at the corporate network via a wireless laptop at the hotel lobby.

But I am sure that the college-aged folks in Tempe will appreciate the ability to stay wired without all the wires. It's interesting news.

times are changing (1)

mcguyver (589810) | more than 9 years ago | (#12388669)

The city of Lompoc, California is getting citywide wireles from Lompoc Connect. Sure it's not a major city but it is further proof that wireless is growing. I had thought that DSL, cable, and satellite internet would solve most problems but I now think wireless can replace most of those technologies. Coincidentally my company of 10ish people is moving offices and our choice of internet providers is a wireless solution that offers double the bandwith at half the cost of a traditional solution - our 2nd option was a slower, more expensive 2 bonded T1s.
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