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I'm Famous in St. Louis. - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Mar. 24th, 2004

11:02 am - I'm Famous in St. Louis.

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From:khudirambose
Date:March 24th, 2004 05:16 pm (UTC)
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ooh la la
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From:bookoflies
Date:March 24th, 2004 05:25 pm (UTC)
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excellent!
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From:the_sween
Date:March 24th, 2004 05:32 pm (UTC)
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That's awesome! I'll have to tell my grandmother to save that article for me.

BTW, what's up with:
But the network could run afoul of mainstream providers of Internet access. SBC Communications Inc., the local phone company in Champaign-Urbana, regards sharing a DSL line as a violation of its terms of service, said Larry Meyer, a spokesman.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:March 24th, 2004 05:41 pm (UTC)
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Newspaper writers are trained to always include an opposing viewpoint in their stories. Supposedly this makes the article "objective". It's really amusing to me sometimes how that plays out as writers scramble to find controversy on a tight deadline for a relatively non-controversial story.

That quote is kind of the "standard controversy" that reporters bring up about our project. No matter how many times we tell them that we're only sharing business class DSL lines which don't have sharing restrictions and that any city-wide implementation would share bulk-rate T1 or T3 bandwidth that is definitely sharable.

The more interesting controversy is that if we're really wildly successful we'll make DSL irrelevent as our network will be a more efficient last mile solution for delivering bulk purchased bandwidth to urban consumers. Of course, we might also completely fail. This is brand new stuff.



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From:the_sween
Date:March 24th, 2004 05:53 pm (UTC)
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The more interesting controversy is that if we're really wildly successful we'll make DSL irrelevent as our network will be a more efficient last mile solution for delivering bulk purchased bandwidth to urban consumers.

Have you heard any rumblings on how they (ISPs) plan to compete with you if this happens?
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From:zarfmouse
Date:March 24th, 2004 07:51 pm (UTC)
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If we're successful I suspect that there'll be some issues, some regulatory struggles, but ultimately I suspect the ISPs will be glad that they don't have to support the unprofitable last mile anymore. Selling bulk bandwidth for the long haul, providing cross town wired links to join together distant parts of the wireless network, and providing server infrasructure are all far more profitable activities for ISPs than providing DSL or cable modems.
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From:szasz
Date:March 24th, 2004 08:03 pm (UTC)
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My guess actually is that you're going to run out of spectrum and/or start angering homeowners by interfering with their own home wireless networks as this gets to be too successful. You're still using off-the shelf 11b stuff, no?
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From:zarfmouse
Date:March 24th, 2004 08:23 pm (UTC)
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Yah we're using off the shelf 11b stuff now. We're aware that there's going to be some political fights neccessary to get some more spectrum available to the general public for this stuff. We're working behind the scenes with a lot of folks to make sure that projects like ours are considered in the ongoing public interest political battle over spectrum. We're seen as a model argument for why the public should be given access to more spectrum for flexible open applications.

One thing we have going for us is that by using high gain omnis at rooftop level there is actually a radio shadow below the antenna so that a lot less energy goes into the home of someone with a node than gets to the rooftop of someone's neighbor.

We're also looking into a number of ways to minimize our use of spectrum via variable power radios (adjust transmit power based on the packet destination) and "smart antenna arrays" (so that we have omni-directional coverage but any given packet is actually transmitted as a directional beam to it's destination). Those are both a ways off. The radios that would facilitate both of these ideas are currently not open spec so we can't write drivers to their full capabilities.

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From:stuffedsheep29
Date:March 24th, 2004 05:39 pm (UTC)
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Wow, the article all impressive and stuff! Can I join the fan club?
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From:justkimu
Date:March 24th, 2004 05:53 pm (UTC)
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Right on!

Just remember us little LJ folks when you have lunch with Stephen Hawking. :)

Really, what you are doing is wonderful. Rock on!
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From:celaenos_aerie
Date:March 24th, 2004 05:58 pm (UTC)
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Zach, you rock.
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From:superlemming13
Date:March 24th, 2004 07:40 pm (UTC)
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Yes, it is true. You have the rockings.
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From:hssst
Date:March 24th, 2004 06:03 pm (UTC)
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Woo Hoo!
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From:rainbox
Date:March 24th, 2004 09:54 pm (UTC)
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awwwwesome.
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From:ryanfirewitch
Date:March 25th, 2004 06:10 pm (UTC)
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I am quite thoroughly impressed.

Does the FCC consider replacing stock antennas on 802.11b equipment with really high gain antennas legit?
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From:zarfmouse
Date:March 25th, 2004 08:00 pm (UTC)
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The antennas we're using are openly marketted for 802.11b use. No one has told us we need a license.

The maximum power for 2.4GHz is much higher than the stock radios generate so there's a lot of headroom for adding gain before we hit the legal limits.

Our Omni's are 8dbB so they aren't "really high gain". There's gain but it isn't huge.

At one point our reading of the regs suggested that antennas were fine but amplifiers that weren't marketted as a single FCC approved package couldn't be used. So no homebrewing amplifiers.

The thing is that we really don't want to amplify our signal. We use the omni because we want good omni directional coverage and we need a little boost. But ultimately because this is point to multi-point mesh routing on a shared medium we want to use the minimum possible power that still gets the packet delivered reliably. That way we are keeping a minimum amount of the medium "busy" for any given packet and we reduce interference on nearby nodes that are not participating in a given packet transfer.
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From:mr_ducktape
Date:May 25th, 2004 04:58 am (UTC)
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I'm just posting this to test out my new procmail settings. Go ahead and respond to this comment, then feel free to delete 'em.

Thanks bud!
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From:zarfmouse
Date:May 25th, 2004 05:03 am (UTC)
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Foobar.
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From:mr_ducktape
Date:May 25th, 2004 05:19 am (UTC)
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I attempta once more!
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From:zarfmouse
Date:May 25th, 2004 05:22 am (UTC)
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Foobar. Baz.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:May 25th, 2004 05:25 am (UTC)
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Woofoo in my journal.
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From:mr_ducktape
Date:May 25th, 2004 05:26 am (UTC)
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Wifi in the hor'bole!
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