[Cialug] wireless communities in Iowa?

Tom Poe tompoe at fngi.net
Sat Oct 13 10:50:40 CDT 2007

Dave J. Hala Jr. wrote:
> I think the issue isn't about the ICN connectivity.   Qwest may not want
> a competitor, and the ICN and school folks don't want any more work.
> Sounds like Qwest is using the bureaucracy to kill the project.
> Since getting access to the school stuff on the ICN via a broadband
> connection is the "killer app" that is driving this project, maybe you
> could change the focus of your approach. Down play the 21st century
> initiatives. 
> Maybe you could focus on a privately funded mesh network with a low
> entry cost. From a business perspective having CPE cost of only $50,
> thats "customer funded" is awesome. If you could push just broadband at
> a low cost, then say oh btw, in the future the broadband network is the
> first step toward achieving this goal...
> I'm wondering if you have the mesh network running and privately funded
> if you could then create some of "conduit" from the mesh network to the
> ICN for the purpose of allowing the kids access. If you have a large of
> customer be of households with school children, you could leverage them
> to push for access. Its not an unreasonable request.
> If the infrastructure is already in place, now your argument becomes
> about access and not "building infrastructure".  You've eliminated qwest
> and the city from your negotiations and now your working directly ICN. 
> Anyway, just a couple of loose thoughts...
> :) Dave
> On Sat, 2007-10-13 at 09:44 -0500, Tom Pohl wrote:
>> On Oct 13, 2007, at 8:27 AM, Tom Poe wrote:
>>> Todd:  I'd like to agree with you, that noone, especially our city  
>>> leaders in Charles City, wants a second-rate education for our  
>>> children.  So, I reread the letter from the city mayor's office  
>>> stating the city's position on citizen initiatives for a "last mile  
>>> solution" for our kids.  Unfortunately, that is their position.  I  
>>> also reviewed email exchanges with the city leaders and Joseph  
>>> Cassis, deputy director of the ICN.  Unfortunately, noone  
>>> demonstrates an interest in exploring options for an affordable  
>>> "last mile solution" for our kids, let alone affordable options  
>>> that might be applied across all of Iowa's rural communities.
>>> I want to personally thank you for your offer to contribute to a  
>>> legal defense fund, in the event the encumbents sue.  I contacted a  
>>> lawyer several months ago, and received confirmation that he'll  
>>> handle the fund when such action becomes appropriate.  We agreed  
>>> that any legal action should not have to occur, if we continue to  
>>> act reasonably and slowly. Tom
>> I thought it was a matter of Iowa law that states who and how people  
>> can access the ICN's resources.  If you were to provide community  
>> access using an ICN connection to the general community, I think  
>> you'd be breaking state law and the ICN would probably risk losing  
>> their common carrier status, but I don't really know anything :)
>> This link provides at least an interesting read:
>> http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl? 
>> court=DC&navby=case&no=991149A
>> -Tom
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Dave:  Very insightful "loose thoughts", I think.  The local hospital 
simply needs to purchase one Meraki unit.  Then, they arrange with the 
ICN to implement a telemedicine program for the community.  They can 
"trick" the ICN into placing their hospital antenna such that it covers 
a broad area of the community not already covered by one of the school 
antennas.  If enough of the community is covered, their entry costs for 
a "branded" telemedicine network is little more than the cost of that 
first Meraki unit.  From that point on, the operation can expand as it 
"pays for itself".  I suspect they'll discover they can tap into 
generous resources from that point forward, through grants and 
government funding.

Naturally, the local newspaper will want a "piece" of that wireless mesh 
network to use for their own "branded" network.  They can sell units as 
part of subscriptions, work the network splash page to their advantage, 
and move the newspaper into the broadband era.

Your template for small communities is a really good one.  I hope some 
communities use it.

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