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What is the Current Status of WiMAX?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the last-mile-broadcast-broadband dept.

Wireless Networking 239

PalletBoy asks: "I live in BFE (read 'remote') Pennsylvania where BroadBand is not available in any form save satellite, which is no good for price and latency reasons (curse my MMO addiction!). My big question is: what is the -actual- current status of WiMAX technology? Different sites have me believing different things and I can't find an exact answer to the question 'When will I be able to buy a WiMAX router and cards so I can remotely receive broadband?' When will WiMAX (802.16) be solidly standardized, out, and affordable? Or is it already there?"

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Background (-1, Redundant)

PsychicX (866028) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539591)

Just some background information [wikipedia.org] on WiMax for those who aren't sure what this is all about.

Re:Background (1, Insightful)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539610)

Why did you just link to the same Wikipedia article that the submitterr linked to?

Re:Background (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13539666)

I stand up, you bow down. I take your first post and shove it up your ass. I then lay claim to this first post in the name of
Trip Master Monkey
Slap my ass and call me Susan!!!!!
Trip Bastard Monkey
Don't use mod points to mod this down, when the mod points could be better used modding one of Trip Master Monkey's famous "cut and paste the full text" posts +1000 insightful!!!1

Re:Background (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13539671)

Just some background information [wikipedia.org] on B.F.E. for those who aren't sure what this is all about.

(Look under the section entitled 'Kadigans in the English language for places')

Re:Background (1)

marktwen0 (650117) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539764)

Thanks. Very helpful.

Re:Background (0, Offtopic)

marcantonio (895721) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539677)

You sir, are a KARMA WHORE! Geez, at least use a different link...

Re:Background (1, Funny)

Yocto Yotta (840665) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539884)

In case Slashdot is Slashdotted, here is the text of the newspost for your convenience:

Posted by Cliff on Monday September 12, @11:20AM
from the last-mile-broadcast-broadband dept.
PalletBoy asks: "I live in BFE (read 'remote') Pennsylvania where BroadBand is not available in any form save satellite, which is no good for price and latency reasons (curse my MMO addiction!). My big question is: what is the -actual- current status of WiMAX technology? Different sites have me believing different things and I can't find an exact answer to the question 'When will I be able to buy a WiMAX router and cards so I can remotely receive broadband?' When will WiMAX (802.16) be solidly standardized, out, and affordable? Or is it already there?"

Hopefully that helps save Slashdot's bandwidth for more news of the same importance.

I Was In Your Shoes (4, Informative)

geomon (78680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539592)

Until two regional companies started offering radio-link internet. I get 256Kb/sec up/down and am eyeballing another provider who will offer better transfer rates for the same price. The only problem is the price. Both ISPs charge $60/month. I am able to justify the price because I can telecommute a few days a month and save gas in my car. My dial-up was $15/month with a $17/month second telephone line. I looked into Hughes' and Echostar's systems, but their Fair Access Policies looked like bandwidth restrictions on what you were already paying for. I was going to stay with dial-up until radio-links came along.

Re:I Was In Your Shoes (0)

aklix (801048) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539939)

256Kb/sec up/down for only $60 a month? Hell I'm comming to set up a server farm where you live!

Re:I Was In Your Shoes (3, Informative)

seanmeister (156224) | more than 9 years ago | (#13540076)

I use a radio-based ISP in southern NM, and it's great. It's advertised as 256kbps, but in practice I get closer to 400kbps, and it's only $50/month.

My only complaints have been the price of the hardware (Alvarion BreezeAccess II - $1200 from the ISP, or closer to $400 on eBay), and the fact that they tend to go down whenever lighting clobbers the mountain where their antenna is.

Re:I Was In Your Shoes (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 9 years ago | (#13540147)

I went with Hughes.Yes,The FAP sucks.The problem i had with WiFi(and I'm sure it'll apply to WiMax too)is that with a new tech like that,Especially being set up in a rural area,Is that your service is only as good as the system admin is smart

I gave up on WiFi after i was disconnected after my twelve year old nephew crashed their server and disconnected the whole area.Was he a master hacker?Nope-His little Java chat app crashed and started to suck up more ports.Instead of having ANY kind of limits on ports they had set up their server in a way that my nephews chat app was able to suck up all the ports and overload the server.

The very next week they fixed that only for me to find everyone who was connected to their server in "My Network Places" with their name and password clearly visible!That is when i gave up on WiFi.

The problem is the big companies don't care about the small rural places and the little local start ups that do often hire inept system admins for their system.I personally have given up on decent broadband until someone like Google offers national WiFi.Come ooon,Google!!

I truly wish you luck,Because you are going to need it.

I know there's nothing for me to see here. (3, Funny)

mpathetiq (726625) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539593)

It IS wireless after all.

Right Now! (3, Informative)

USSJoin (896766) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539594)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WiMax [wikipedia.org] Seems to think that it's already out... http://www.towerstream.com/ [towerstream.com] should already be serving it.

Re:Right Now! (5, Informative)

Nos. (179609) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539809)

There is no equipment *today* that is certified to be WiMax. Everything we're seeing right now is "Pre-WiMax". This is equipment that will probably pass certification, but hasn't yet. The certification lab just started accepting equipment for test a couple months back. The belief is that by the end of the year we'll see some actual certified hardware available. See wimaxforum.org [wimaxforum.org] - the official wimax site.

It does not matter (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13539595)

The LAST place Wimax will be available is remote area's. Just as with any other communications technology.

butt fuck egypt? (1)

Shut the fuck up! (572058) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539599)

I never really understood what that meant.

Re:butt fuck egypt? (2, Interesting)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539715)

The Butt F%^K isn't anything to do with it. BFE is an old term that stood fof "Beyond F-ing Egypt." It meant really far away, as it does today. I am sure this will get modded offtopic, but BFE will be used a lot in replies to this story...
Now- do you know what RFD stands for, as in Mayberry?

Re:butt fuck egypt? (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539784)

Well, RFD either means "Request for Development" or "Rural Free Delivery". I'll take the latter for $200.

Re:butt fuck egypt? (1)

kwerle (39371) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539801)

Welcome, visitor from another dimension. It turns out that in THIS dimension, words and acronyms can change meaning over time.

Re:butt fuck egypt? (2, Informative)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539845)

Going back to my military days in the late 70's, it was BumFvck, Egypt. I never heard anybody say Beyond Egypt.

Wi-Max (5, Informative)

matth (22742) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539602)

The ISP I work for which is in Williamsport will be deploying Wi-Max Alvarion gear shortly. However, I don't know that that's really going to help you in remote PA. The problem being remote is even Wi-Max probably will not hit you here in the hilly areas. We use some 900mhz stuff and it works well through trees... but hit a mountain and you don't have a chance. Plus in most areas like that it just isn't cost effective to build out to hit 1 or 4 people.

Re:Wi-Max (1)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539633)

The ISP I work for which is in Williamsport will be deploying Wi-Max Alvarion gear shortly. However, I don't know that that's really going to help you in remote PA.

Funny. I thought Williamsport WAS remote PA.

Re:Wi-Max (1)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539798)

Not even close. There are people there. As in "more than 1".

Try some place like Renovo, or Snow Shoe.

Re:Wi-Max (1)

Basehart (633304) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539870)

I just looked at Snow Shoe on Google Earth - yep, it's pretty remote.

Re:Wi-Max (2, Interesting)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539865)

I was shocked to learn this past weekend that DSL is availble at my parents' house in BFE Pennsylvania. My father just signed up for Verizon's 768/384 DSL, which is cheaper than the dialup service he had!

Meanwhile, DSL is NOT available where I live in relatively Suburban NJ (not rural) approximately 20 miles outside New York City. My house was built in 1995 and my parents' house was built sometime before 1895, and I would have expected that I could get it first.

For now I'm stuck paying out the ears for Comcast's monopoly Cable internet. I can't complain about the speed or service, but DSL if available would be 1/4 the price. Verizon says "were constantly upgrading our network and expanding our coverage. We'll contact you when DSL is available in your area!"

Re:Wi-Max (1)

alc6379 (832389) | more than 9 years ago | (#13540151)

Maybe you're in the same situation as I am.

I live less than 10 miles outside of Nashville, TN. I know it's not a New York City, but it's considered a decent size metropolis. I can sit on my roof and read the words on the skyscrapers.

...but I'm out of range for DSL by about 200 feet. It's all about where the CO's positioned, and I just fell right outside the threshold for service. I checked this 3-4 years ago initially, and got the same message as you from Bellsouth-- "We're constantly upgrading our service! BlahBlahBlah". Here we are now, still no luck.

Don't hold your breath, I say. Just enjoy the fact that at least you're not on dial-up anymore...

Re:Wi-Max (1)

matth (22742) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539930)

LOL.. Perhaps more remote then say Pittsburgh... but Wellsboro, or Ralston are remote PA :)

Re:Wi-Max (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539652)

The problem with 900mhz stuff nowadays is the huge amount of noise in adjacent bands, not to mention the crap being spewed from cordless phones and the like. The non-line-of-site benefits of 900mhz band are being undone. I remember some of our equipment having major interference problems because some paging tower's transmitter went on the fritz and started spewing like nuts, and the big guys just don't give a damn. 2.4ghz is getting nearly as bad, and the higher unlicensed bands will doubtless in turn also begin to suffer.

Re:Wi-Max (1)

matth (22742) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539796)

That's why you deploy frequency hopping. Come across a bad channel, or channels? Just hop over it... Decreases your available bandwidth by a bit, but you continue to run just fine.

Hey how is life ... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13539603)

up there in Potter County?

What day of the week do you get the toothbrush?

Verizon commercials (-1, Offtopic)

DroopyStonx (683090) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539609)

I see the verizon commercials all the time for wimax. I think it's $60 a month for "anywhere" connectivity".

Not bad as long as the speeds are realistic and not lagged in any way, shape, or form. Kinda worthless, IMO, if you couldn't do something like play a steady game of WoW while riding a bus.

Re:Verizon commercials (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13539647)

It's 1xRTT and EV-DO, not WiMax.

Re:Verizon commercials (1)

mc900ftjesus (671151) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539770)

Correct, this is offered by Verizon and Sprint, this come from cell towers.

Re:Verizon commercials (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13540021)

Also, as I understand it, this coverage is more limited than their overall system coverage. So it might be a viable option if you're in a metro area, but I doubt it covers BFE yet. So you'll probably see it roll out in a similar way to previous cellular system upgrades.

Re:Verizon commercials (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539775)

Kinda worthless, IMO, if you couldn't do something like play a steady game of WoW while riding a bus.

Unless, as the original poster posited, its a broadband alternative where previously there was none. I'd call that pretty un-worthless but, hey, that's just me.

Re:Verizon commercials (1)

ChiChiCuervo (2445) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539878)

you forget:

A) it's not WiMax, it's EVDO

B) it's VERIZON, where they mumble under their breath "we feel like" after "anywhere"

C) Can you screw me over now? Good!

Re:Verizon commercials (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13539901)

Just watch verizon. Read the SLA first, it will tell you the minimum guaranteed bandwidth. That is what you will get, the minimum they have to give you.

Real life example:
my best bud, and my mom both bought verizon 1.5mbps dsl. They are only guaranteed 640kbps by the SLA. Guess what dsl reports tells me the speed is... I'll tell you 640Kbps so you don't have to guess. Kinda funny that both get exactly 640kbps...

By contrast, as provisioned by Covad, Earthlink dsl delivers a solid 1.24 Mbps on the 1.5Mbps deal I am paying for. As provisioned by Verizon, I don't know because wouldn't get it unless someone other than Verizon provisioned it.

My best bud lives next door to me, so it isn't the familiar excuse: "you live too far from CO to get full speed" crap. Though that's what they told him when he called....

Watch them... It's definitely them squeezing as much bandwidth as they are allowed by law.

l8,
AC

Reminds me of DSL (4, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539611)

Back in the early days of DSL in the Bay Area (SFO/OAK/SJC) there was a guide in the now-defunct MicroTimes outlining about 40 vendors and what they offered. It was a bit exasperating trying to figure out which to buy into. Sounds like WiMAX is going to have a shaking out period, too.

Re:Reminds me of DSL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13540066)

how is this remotely interesting? since when is there ever not a shaking out period when a new standard is introduced?

It's not just a matter of cards... (4, Insightful)

jafo (11982) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539612)

It's not just a matter of getting WiMax cards as the person asking the question seems to think. It's a matter of getting the cards and routers *AND* having a service provider cover your area. If you don't currently have a provider offering terresterial wireless or DSL/cable, WiMax isn't going to change that at all.

You do have a few options though. Move, of course... Or, if there's demand in your area, start up an ISP or cooperative. If there isn't demand for at least 10 people, you now know why nobody is offering it in your area. ;-/

Sean

Re:It's not just a matter of cards... (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539911)

If you don't currently have a provider offering terresterial wireless or DSL/cable, WiMax isn't going to change that at all.
The exciting thing about WiMax is that it can provide high speed (50Mbps+) over long distances (tested at over 60 miles). So, yes, you'll still need coverage, but providers won't have to put nearly as many access points as they would with WiFi or have to lay the cable they would for DSL/cable.

Re:It's not just a matter of cards... (4, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 9 years ago | (#13540044)

WiMax can provide high speed (50Mbps+) over long distances (tested at over 60 miles).

No, it can provide high speed or long distance, but not both at the same time. For really large sectors that will be used in rural areas, expect 10Mbps or less total throughput.

Re:It's not just a matter of cards... (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 9 years ago | (#13540146)

Evem 5 or 3 or 1Mbit would be wonderful for people living with dial-up still.

Re:It's not just a matter of cards... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13540081)

> It's not just a matter of getting WiMax cards as the person asking the question seems to think. It's a matter of getting the cards and routers *AND* having a service provider cover your area. If you don't currently have a provider offering terresterial wireless or DSL/cable, WiMax isn't going to change that at all.

WiMax is intended primarily for ISPs, and has a theoretical range of 70 miles. It is perfect for this sort of application (in theory anyway). It's not the sort of thing you can hook up to your neighbor's cable connection because it does not used unlicensed spectrum. This means you will have to pay $$$ to the FCC for a license to use it, if you are not using the equipment of an ISP who already paid for the license for you.

Ask Google? (5, Funny)

Cardoe (563677) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539613)

Now I know I'm going to get smacked down for this... But seriously... some of the Ask Slashdot sounds like Ask Google.

Re:Ask Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13539690)

I agree

Re:Ask Google? (1)

jasongetsdown (890117) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539699)

looks like saying you're going to get smacked down isn't always enough to avoid being smacked down.

Re:Ask Google? (2, Funny)

SlayerofGods (682938) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539719)

Yah it does.... but why would you pay someone on Google Answers to find the answer for you when you have 1,000s of people here that will do it for free?

Re:Ask Google? (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539868)

With all the "google CEO sneezes" type stories we get here, the submitter could be forgiven for thinking they're the same thing.

Re:Ask Google? (3, Insightful)

flithm (756019) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539980)

You're right it does, but it's an interesting question, one that I wouldn't have thought about enough to google myself.

Plus the thing about google is, all it does is find published articles, and most of it is marketing hype.

When you ask slashdot, you're asking because you want to know the geekly opinion, which is often quite a bit different, easier, and less annoying, than spending hours wading through internet fluff.

BFE MI (3, Informative)

mrycar (578010) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539625)

I live in BFE Michigan. I have the same problem, but luckily live near a major interstate highway (I69). WIMAX is being considered along the entire stretch and is seen as one of the few hopes to get reasonable rate broadband access by the communities around me.

Even so, the earliest estimate for me is around 2 years until it is ready. Until then, it looks like Cingular will have its edge network in place, and it will be a likely alternative. Although it looks like it will be 8 months until the EDGe network is in place here.

It is solidly standardized in fixed mode (5, Informative)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539638)

It is solidly standardized in fixed mode in IEEE 802.16-2004. Products are in the pipeline from a number of manufacturers.

What is at issue is whether service providers will set up in your area. This is a very complex issue where spectrum policy and licensing collide with equipment availability, local permits (for towers etc), the cost of the technology and competition from DSL and cable. I don't pretend to know how it will pan out, but 2006 will be the year that the market gets effectively tested.

The current work is around mobility which relates more to handsets and laptops. This not only in the unfinished 802.16e spec, but in Wimax and the IETF, since for mobility, the backhaul networks need to be standardized and this is outside the realm of the 802.16 working group. Mobility will take some time.

Standardized but not necessarily interoperable (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539792)

The standards may be fully-baked but it's still possible for different vendors to interpret the language of the standard differently. This happened with Wi-Fi and it may happen with WiMax. One proposed solution is to do a labeling program, like what happened with Wi-Fi. The WiMax Forum [wimaxforum.org] wants vendors to submit their products to it for interoperability testing. If they pass, they get to put the official WiMax Forum label on their product packaging. However, not one single product has completed this interoperability testing to date. You see products with a generic "WiMax" label on them, but they just slapped that on there themselves, without any kind of independent verification. There's no guarantee that one brand of hardware is going to work with another.

Re:Standardized but not necessarily interoperable (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | more than 9 years ago | (#13540119)

The extent to which this matters depends on the type of deployment. For mobile systems it matters a lot, it matters for systems where different parties own each end of the link, it matter when they sell this stuff in comp-usa.

It matters a lot less when the user or service provider owns both ends of the link and can thus verify interoperability ahead of time.

Interoperability labelling does matter in certain scenarios, but compare the timeline of Wimax interop testing against what happened in the Bluetooth Sig or the WiFi Alliance (aka WECA). They are very comparable and consistent with BT and WiFi, it takes time from the initial products coming out to the interop testing to get into full swing.

There is reason to think it's not going to be a worst case scenario. There are a very limited number of silicon vendors. Many products will be based on the same silicon with the same software. This will lead to default profiles pretty quickly.

It's coming, Just a little bit longer (months) (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13539641)

Clearwire is rolling out ALOT of new sites in this coming year. They're up to about 15 right now and growing at a rate of something like 2 every 3 weeks. I think Seattle is on the schedule really soon. The tough part is getting the expensive licenses for airwaves.

But you can't beat the pricing for that kind of mobility in broadband.

Speakeasy has a WiMax setup on the Space Needle in Seattle, but the range only covers the north side of downtown. They are planning on rolling out more too, but I've seen less proof.
www.clearwire.com /Not a shill, but soon to be a CW customer when Seattle goes live.

Re:It's coming, Just a little bit longer (months) (2, Informative)

the_maddman (801403) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539783)

Except ClearWire for all the money they got to promote WiMax, is CMDA2000. If you read their stuff, they are using "WiMax like" technology.

I haven't seen anything WiMax that's real. It's a marketing thing that's gotten out of hand.

On the other hand, I did get to play with Clearwire's gear, and it does actually work pretty well. Their TOS is evil though, read it carefully.

Move to Seattle or Philadelphia (2, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539649)

or nearby if you want to get this kind of service - that or next to a major university (or state college/university).

you're more likely to get high-speed service over your power lines out in farm country, IMHO.

Re:Move to Seattle or Philadelphia (1)

Secrity (742221) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539875)

you're more likely to get high-speed service over your power lines out in farm country, IMHO.

I personally hope for the best in your endeavor to get broadband services that are compatible with existing licensed services. I sincerely hope that BPL or PLC never happens and that the current pilot programs go down in flames. Putting fiber on powerlines is cool, putting broadband RF on power lines is very uncool as it emits wideband RF radiation that can interfer with other communication services.

Do tractors need WiMAX? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539915)

well, you have to admit it would be useful to put WiMAX where there's sufficient demand - it's possible you might find a trial service set up by a university in farm country, where there might be less interference, but the demand is mostly in densely populated areas.

Hence my comment that proximity to a state college or university might mean you can get the service. Otherwise, the economics just wouldn't work.

SEND ME 10 DOLLARS (-1, Troll)

demon411 (827680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539658)

and i'll tell u the status of wimax.

Nagging question about bandwidth (5, Insightful)

geneing (756949) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539681)

I have a question which I haven't seen discussed when it comes to WiMAX. Is there enough radio frequency bandwidth to support more than a few dozen high-speed users per access point?

As I understand, the promises about the speed of WiMax are based on top speed (i.e. 1 user). Multiple users will have to share the same radio frequency and their connection speed will be lower.

I remember reading that 4G cell phone network will (with much lower connection speeds) will require on the order of 500MHz of radio spectrum. To put this number in prospective FCC actions slices of 10MHz for billions of $.

I'm not an expert in radio communications, but I don't see how the numbers (promised connection bandwidth and available radio spectrum) would ever add up. Could someone explain?

Re:Nagging question about bandwidth (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539847)

I remember reading that 4G cell phone network will (with much lower connection speeds) will require on the order of 500MHz of radio spectrum. To put this number in prospective FCC actions slices of 10MHz for billions of $.
Right, but cell phones (and PCS and other phones, even though they distance themselves from `cell' phones) work by using lower power signals that only have to reach a tower a short distance away. Everything is broken up into `cells'.

So a person over here can be using X amount of bandwidth, and so can a person a few miles away. Dozens of people could be using the same frequency simultaneously in a single city, and tens of thousands could be nationwide.

I don't know how much bandwidth the 4G phones will require, but I seriously doubt it's 500 MHz for a single connection. But whatever the bandwidth required, many users will be able to use the same slot of bandwidth in a single city.

Re:Nagging question about bandwidth (1)

skillet-thief (622320) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539946)

Right, but cell phones (and PCS and other phones, even though they distance themselves from `cell' phones) work by using lower power signals that only have to reach a tower a short distance away. Everything is broken up into `cells'.

Also, communications are divided into packets, so you could be using the same frequency as somebody right next to you, but not necessarily at the exact same microsecond.

BFE fo' life (5, Informative)

brandor (714744) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539683)

Our small town has been a testbed for WiMax for the past year or so. So far everything seems to be working well and the price hasn't been bad either. 29.99 for standard bandwidth. So far the only limitation I've seen is ling of sight. But, that should be remedied soon, as the operator is moving his towers to the mountain tops. (Why they didn't do this to begin with, I'll never know.) Verizon is the one providing the testing and everything. www.verizonavenue.com is the webpage (I *think*)

Completely offtopic, but... which OS does host run (-1, Offtopic)

01101101 01100101 (904861) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539703)

Hiya folks, mod me down to oblivion if you wish but I've been searching for ages for the answer to this question, and in my desperation I'm turning to Slashdot in the full and certain knowledge that I will be modded down to Australia and burned alive by flaims... but,

How do you tell which linux distribution a host is running? I've tried http://www.dnsstuff.com/ [dnsstuff.com] and searching google relentlessly.... any help? Pretty please?

Re:Completely offtopic, but... which OS does host (0, Offtopic)

rincebrain (776480) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539744)

That'd be a bitch to do, off the top of my head.

If I were doing it, I'd keep a list of default services machines tend to have if they're of X distro, as well as a list of any nonstandard responses the services give.

nmap has a nice way of telling you what versions of the kernel might be running, but that's all I've got.

Also, mod parent offtopic. :)

Thanks for the tip (1)

01101101 01100101 (904861) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539807)

Thanks for the point in the right direction, rincebrain.

The reason I ask is that I'm using an open wireless network, and before I log-in to my emails or do anything more sensitive than reading /., I want to know that my browsing can't be intercepted... hence installing Privoxyhttp://sourceforge.net/projects/ijbswa [sourceforge.net] on my shared server space... but even from within the cpanel I havn't been able to ascertain what bloody distribution its running. (and Privoxy has different packages for different distibutions).

Thanks for the tip, anyway. I'll work it out in the end...

Re:Completely offtopic, but... which OS does host (1)

geomon (78680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539808)

Try netcraft.com.

Verizon Covers Almost All of PA (3, Informative)

Doug Dante (22218) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539716)


Look at the nationwide map. It looks like most, if not all, of PA is covered with Verizon wireless high speed intnernet ($59/month+regular cell - unlimited - 400Kbps-800Kbps with 2Mbps bursting).

http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/mobileoptions/b roadband/mappage.jsp?city=Pittsburgh&state=PA&i_na me=pa_pitts [verizonwireless.com]

It may not be WiMax, but it gets the job done.

Also, if you can find someone within line of sight who has DSL or Cable modem, you can roll your own point to point wireless network pretty easilly, even with plain old 802.11a/b/g.

Re:Verizon Covers Almost All of PA (1)

jimwelch (309748) | more than 9 years ago | (#13540001)

>> "Also, if you can find someone within line of sight who has DSL or Cable modem, you can roll your own point to point wireless network pretty easilly, even with plain old 802.11a/b/g."

Better check the terms of service, my cable company (cableone.net) forbids the sharing of their internet connection.

Re:Verizon Covers Almost All of PA (1)

Nova1313 (630547) | more than 9 years ago | (#13540086)

hahaha verizon covering all of PA is a joke. I live in a major city in PA, off a major road. For 3 years they have been telling me both over the phone and the web that their highspeed service is availiable here.. Now call to sign up they will sign you up. But when they get out to my house they go no it's definately not avialiable here. We don't know why we said it was.. Bad expieriences *shakes*

You don't need WiMax! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13539726)

You can achieve similar results using standard 2.4Ghz WiFi [cisco.com]

This message sent via WiMax (4, Funny)

TrippTDF (513419) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539751)

My office in NYC uses WiMax. We upgraded earlier this year and we've had great uptime, and good speed. The cool thing is that the transmitter we connect to is on the Empire State Building. When I connect to the VPN from home, I can look out the window at the ESB and see my data flying through the air...

Re:This message sent via WiMax (4, Funny)

fm6 (162816) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539864)

I can look out the window at the ESB and see my data flying through the air...
I suggest you cut back on the all-nighters!

Re:This message sent via WiMax (1)

TrippTDF (513419) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539994)

Ironicly, I gave my two weeks notice this morning....

BFE, MS (3, Informative)

Ridge (37884) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539771)

I live in BFE, MS and like the poster have no choice for broadband. Today, I had a couple guys come out and install a WildBlue satellite, they just finished about a half hour ago. It seems pretty nice, I get about 1.5Mbps downstream and 256Kbps upstream says some random bandwidth tester. The latency is pretty painful, I got ~650ms pinging google. The 'Pro' version of this provider is 1.5Mbps/256Kbps for $79 a month, 22GB/6GB fair access policy. My initial opinion is that it rocks when your only choice is nothing or dialup, *if* you can live with the latency. I went a month or two without a connection after moving from Memphis with a cable connection, it's kind of tough. So this is a pretty sizable improvement over nothing. I hope by this time next year to start seeing some WiMax deployments, but I don't expect to see any before then. :(

Re:BFE, MS (1)

Tx (96709) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539981)

Today, I had a couple guys come out and install a WildBlue satellite, they just finished about a half hour ago.

Wait, you get a satellite to yourself? And shouldn't they be launching it, not installing it at your house?

WiMax routers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13539793)

So are there any routers which will connect to a wimax hotpoint so I can set up my home network? Wireless to wireless I guess? I'm not keen on having N accounts at $60 a pop.

Yes, I guess I could google, but then, what's the point of asking /.?

Nat or Pat will help solve your problem... (1)

woodsrunner (746751) | more than 9 years ago | (#13540003)

All you need to do is connect your first connection to a router and use Network Address Translation to split your one address into many private addresses.

This will not only allow you to allocate a fairly large address space, but will also allow your addresses to be unroutable, meaning that an outsider will not be able to reach your machine without you explicitly allowing them to.

This may be an overly simplistic answer to your question, but it should work even if you have to use an old box and run something like ipcop you can then have an additional router with some fairly sophisticated firewalling to split up your account and then ethernet cable to a wireless router.

Since Intel is developing... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13539799)

it will totally suck.

End of story.

Fixed vs. Mobile performance (5, Informative)

RradRegor (913123) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539818)

One thing to keep in mind when considering this is the huge difference between a fixed high-gain antenna and a mobile device. I did some work for a company that deployed MANs via 30Ghz point-to-multipoint systems using a proprietary QPSK physical layer. It had very similar performance to what WiMax seems to be talking about, but when you think wireless these days, you think of toting your laptop around anywhere and getting connected. Although our system was a very different protocol and modulation method, the laws of physics dictate that your reliable speed is going to depend on the energy per bit transmitted and the combined gain of the two antenna systems. In other words, a mobile device isn't going to have the kind of range and speed people are hearing about WRT WiMax.

There is Hope... BPL (2, Informative)

mitchdbx (914356) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539857)

The FCC recently approved the use of BPL, Broadband over Power Line.... This will allow the most remote users to get High Speed internet! There are a few kinks to work out still, but the technology is there, and ready to roll. We have to make the HAM ops happy first ;) Check it out here... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadband_over_power_ line [wikipedia.org]

Yeeeaaah. You do that. (1)

ki4iib (902605) | more than 9 years ago | (#13540034)

They'll be able to make the amateur ops happy when BPL stops blanketing the surrounding countryside with stray RF =)

Given upcoming oil issues... (2, Insightful)

NaruVonWilkins (844204) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539858)

and the availability of competing services in closer, have you considered moving into an area with better services?

State of the WiMax (4, Informative)

Erich (151) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539914)

I think you'll start to see slow adoption Real Soon Now (next few years). However, there's a big question about spectrum. WiMax vendor folks can buy up spectrum like wireless carriers, but that is expensive. They can use bands that don't require licensing (like your 802.11 devices), but (potentially) you'll get lots of interference.

Also, there is really no unity on spectrum for WiMax stuff yet. For 802.11b, for instance, most devices today work in that 2.4Ghz band, so devices are all compatible. Not so much for 802.16, last I saw there were lots of frequencies that could be used, in both licensed and unlicensed spectrum spaces. And it's unlikely that a device you'll get will have antenna systems designed for every possible allowed 802.16 frequency... which I'd wager means that you will likely need to buy hardware that matches your vendor.

I think for the near term, you should see if you have either WCDMA or CDMA 1xEV-DO rev A data coverage in your area. EV-DO has decent bandwith, and DO rev A really reduces latency and increases reverse link bandwith. As a bonus, you should be able to use the service in most major populated areas... You might have to shell out bucks though. For DO rev A, Sprint and Verizon already own the spectrum, and are starting to roll out these services. The GSM folks are switching to WCDMA, but I don't know the state of their data services. My experience is that GPRS/EDGE doesn't have very good data rates in real life... youll want to stick with the 3G data standards.

Or, if you are lucky, you might find a smaller service provider that uses directional 802.11 in your area.. that might work reasonably well.

well it depends how far away you are... (1)

switchfutguy (880698) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539938)

i'm not sure about wimax, but if you aren't to far away from where a landline could be recieved you could always use something like this for the last 10 or so miles:
http://www.radusa.com/Home/0,6583,9279,00.html [radusa.com]

AUA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13539956)

For those who are wondering what BFE stands for:

From the page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._Army_acr onyms_and_expressions [wikipedia.org]
-----

BFE - Bumfuck, Egypt... meaning: the middle of nowhere; any remote place.

-----

Oh, and AUA stands for Another Useless Acronoym.

Re:AUA (1)

dentar (6540) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539986)

BFE and AUA are not acronyms. Acronyms must be pronounceable as a word, like FUBAR or ASAP.

Re:AUA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13540129)

Acronyms must be pronounceable as a word, ...
Maybe on your planet, but here on Earth acronyms are the first letters of a multi-word term/phrase, like RTFM, LOL and STFU.

Re:AUA (2, Informative)

WhyCantIBeYou (875852) | more than 9 years ago | (#13540139)

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary:

Main Entry: acronym
Pronunciation: 'a-kr&-"nim
Function: noun
Etymology: acr- + -onym
: a word (as NATO, radar, or snafu) formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term; also : an abbreviation (as FBI) formed from initial letters : INITIALISM (the emphasis is mine)

3 perspectives: Provider, User, Observer (5, Informative)

lpoulsen (148228) | more than 9 years ago | (#13539983)

WiMax is pretty well standardized from the perspective of protocols and modulations, but unlike WiFi which is developed for use in unlicensed bands, WiMax is primarily intended for use by network operators who will have licensed bands. (There will be some gear available for use in the 5.8GHz unlicensed band, but that is a small fraction of the market.

In North America, the main deployments are expected to be in the 2.5GHz "wireless cable" bands, which are mostly licensed to Sprint, the IFTS (educational TV bands) mostly licensed to Catholic Archdioceses but now authorized for subleasing) and a band around 3.5GHz. Various bands around 3.2, 3.5 and 3.6GHz is also where other parts of the world are expected to deploy these services.

If you are a large provider, like Sprint, you had better get field trials underway by now, or your licenses may be in danger of expiring. And you will be negotiating with a handful of equipment manufacturers for a wholesale deal on equipment working on your licensed frequencies.

If you are a small ISP, you will probably have to look to the unlicensed 5.8GHz, and talk to Alvarion. I have not looked much at who else has equipment for that band. Be aware that the higher frequencies do not travel as far as 2.4GHz, so you may in fact be better off with high-end WiFi kit built from the ground up for outdoor use.

If you are a user, you need to shop around for a service provider, and let them worry about the right equipment.

(I work for a small wireless equipment house that makes low-bandwidth wireless systems for very long range, especially targeted to underdeveloped areas of the world. http://www.afar.net/ [afar.net] )

You will have WiMax.... (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 9 years ago | (#13540046)

... When Google partners with Wal-Mart to install APs on their stores.

Catch 22 (2, Informative)

HomerJayS (721692) | more than 9 years ago | (#13540079)

Don't hold your breath for WiMax or broadband over powerline coming to a BFE near you.

Deploying a broadband infrastructure takes lots of $$$. And where are the best places to recover your capitol expenses? The high population density areas (which by the way already have other forms of broadband already available (cable, DSL)).

The bottom line is that you have to already have access to broadband in order to get other forms of broadband.

I live in BFE Ohio and am resigned to the fact that I will need to wait for suburban sprawl to engulf my area before I'll have any hope of broadband.

In Greenville SC ... (2, Informative)

adzoox (615327) | more than 9 years ago | (#13540099)

We have a startup called Main Street Wimax ...

They have the wireless service spread over a 10 mile radius at $26.95 a month for 4Mb service.

They have this same service "morphed" into a free downtown Wifi network. (Basically taking the wimax modem and running it into a wireless router then installing repeaters every 300 ft downtown.)

It's building slowly but surely - it's not going to be for big cities - it will be rural broadband.

Ask "the magic 8 ball" Slashdot (-1, Troll)

dan_bethe (134253) | more than 9 years ago | (#13540134)

Dear Slashdot, When will we be able to predict the future? Coz I can't and I want to.

Wireless ISP locater (2, Informative)

dme2k (914361) | more than 9 years ago | (#13540154)

A wireless ISP locater as well as other good broadband wireless info is available at http://bbwexchange.com/ [bbwexchange.com] . I was amazed at how many wireless ISPs are in operation in rural areas already. (most are line-of-sight point-to-point wireless)
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