Tales from the Towers, Chapter 3: Deploying wireless networks in unlicensed bands

This is the third installment of my “Tales from the Towers” series of articles about deploying large scale Wi-Fi networks in unlicensed bands. The theme: share and share alike. Although we were going to discuss putting access points (APs) on the poles in this week’s article, an incident occurred last week that I think is […]

Tales from the Towers, Chapter 2: Wireless Access Point Secrets You Didn’t Share with your Parents

Continuing the discussion of the budget muni wireless network requires analyzing the front line component, the Access Point (AP). There are many variations of APs. They all have features and capabilities that provide enhancements in certain environments. Some of the APs break the practical limit of 20-30 users by using multiple radios in a single […]

Tales from the towers, Chapter 1: ISP’s experience building large Wi-Fi networks

Several people have asked me how to build lower cost municipal Wi-Fi systems that cover anything from a very small area to hundreds of miles. To be honest, we haven’t yet deployed a muni Wi-Fi network that covers hundreds of miles, but in the course of my work as a wireless ISP over the past […]

A Primer on Network Security For Municipal and Public Utility Networks

Network security used to be something that network administrators worried about and annoyed end-users.  Originally, a simple anti-virus program was all you needed.  With Internet, this escalated to firewalls, to anti-phishing and spam filters, and finally into Intrusion Detection/Intrusion Prevention systems.  Hardware, software, and operating system manufacturers are integrating security and encryption from the desktops […]

New Generation of Low-Cost Municipal Networks

New-Generation Mesh Networks Offer Low-Cost Broadband Alternative Some mesh networks have recently been discredited when unrealistic business plans as part of municipal in partnerships with poorly written proposals failed. The failures were incorrectly attributed to unlicensed 2.4 GHz mesh technology instead of the financial models. The technology worked, but the real cost was never understood […]