[Cialug] ICN/Community Wireless

Tom Poe tompoe at fngi.net
Sat Oct 13 23:42:30 CDT 2007

Jeffrey C. Ollie wrote:
> I've been reading the "wireless communities in Iowa" thread and I think
> that there's some misunderstandings and confusions going on here.  First
> off, there seems to be confusion about accessing the ICN.  While I don't
> work for the ICN and IANAL, I've actually dealt with the ICN (I'm the
> network administrator for DMACC, which is a large user of the ICN's
> services).
> Way back when the ICN was founded, the state legislature created this
> list.  The people on this list are called "authorized users" and only
> authorized users are allowed to receive services from the ICN.  Since
> the state legislature created the list of authorized users, only the
> state legislature is allowed to change the list.  That makes it reeally
> difficult to change who's on the list.  I can virtually guarantee that
> the ICN will never be allowed to deliver services directly to private
> individuals or businesses.
> The engineers that run the ICN aren't stupid.  You aren't going to
> "trick" them into letting the general public access one of their
> wireless links.  AFAIK, the ICN doesn't do a whole lot with wireless in
> the first place.  Mostly they deploy point-to-point wireless links when
> it's infeasible to deploy fiber optics.  The one ICN wireless link that
> I've dealt with was a point-to-point link between Des Moines Schools'
> Central Campus and the Pappajohn building downtown.  The only reason
> that a wireless link was deployed was because they couldn't lay any
> fiber because of construction on the MLK parkway extension.  Once the
> construction on MLK was done the wireless link was replaced with fiber.
> I've talked with people from the ICN about other things that they do
> with wireless, but I doubt that they'd let the general public access
> those wireless connections either.
> Next, I'd have to be three sheets to the wind before I'd let the general
> public directly access *my* link to the ICN.  I think you'd have to do
> even more to get a the network administrator at a hospital to let you
> directly access their Internet link.  HIPAA anyone?  DMACC offers all
> sorts of public wireless access on our campuses, but you're gonna go
> through the proper channels so that I can apply firewall and QoS
> policies.
> As far a Qwest is concerned, check the terms of service that you agreed
> to when you signed up for residential DSL.  You probably agreed not to
> resell Internet service to anyone.  You'll need to spend more money on a
> connection to get a ToS that doesn't prohibit you from reselling
> Internet services.
> As for cities that are friendlier to free wireless Internet - I know
> that both Des Moines and West Des Moines are in various stages of
> offering free or low cost wireless Internet services in various parts of
> each city.  I really don't have enough information to judge the
> situation in Charles City objectively though.
> Jeff
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Jeff:  Glad you shared your thoughts with the list.  Have you any 
insight as to what the relationship between the ICN and Iowa's public 
access television is, or was, maybe?

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