Thursday, 6 November 2008

Building Ypsi Wireless
Wireless Ypsi has been an interesting project to work on for the past eight months. When Brian Robb and I started it in January 2008, we thought we might have 5 or 10 business hooked up and the 'regulars' that visit downtown Ypsilanti every week could surf the net. We sort of blew over that goal in the first week.

Last night, Wireless Ypsi had its 8,400th new user and 3.2 terabytes of data has been transmitted since we started. In the past 24 hours, 454 people signed on to use the system. According to Meraki, Wireless Ypsi is one the top 10 networks in the world. Stunning.

Beyond the users, beyond the technology, there is an important reason why this has been successful and one we are very mindful of when consulting and advising other communities that want to use our model. It is knowing the people in your community

We could have done the traditional wireless model and pulled in our own Internet connections. We could have negotiated tower and light pole agreements with City Hall. We could have paid engineers thousands of dollars to do electromagnetic site surveys. But that would have taken months, even years, and it would have cost tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Between Brian and me, we had $1,200 we were willing to throw at this project. We came up with $1,200 as we figured each of us was willing to kick

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