Friday, March 01, 2002

Wi-fi Spreads

The thing I still don't understand is why Con Edison and its equivalents around the country don't build out wi-fi networks that wirelessly connect stranded homes on the last mile to the fiber optic networks that run (largely unused) across the country. Con Edison comes to my house every month to read the meters. As long as they're here, they might as well hook up a wi-fi antenna to my roof. With a range of 300 yards, that antenna would service every room in the house and all of my outdoor property. If they did every house in the River Towns, I could go anywhere and hook up to high speed Internet access, which would be nice at the library, the El Dorado Diner, etcetera. I'd be happy to pay them half of what I pay Verizon for a DSL connection. I'd probably pay them the exact same amount.

The impact of wi-fi networks is being felt in places like Aspen, Colorado (which is totally wi-fied), Seattle, Salt Lake City and parts of Boston/Cambridge. There's a good report in today's Seattle Times about the impact of wi-fi on two coffeehouse chains. You can read it here.