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WikiHotSpots - network your community!

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:54 am
by simonpaton
I totally agree with Mike's comments. Think of it almost as a WikiHotSpot network. You have to be contributing to the growth of the network to use and benefit. Individuals who contribute get rebated for a % usage of the network. In our local airport (Wagga Wagga) there is a Bigpond Hotspot. If you have a Bigpond account then you can access the hotspot and the cost gets added to your bill. Otherwise you can provide credit card details to but some time (much like an internet cafe).

WikiHotSpots - network your community!

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:07 am
by dsc68
One option to achieve this could be to bring Fon to Australia. Exetel could setup as the Australian distributor.

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:15 am
by corona
I'm all for the idea, I would love to act as a hotspot. I already have wireless router and use it extensively on my adsl2 connection, I would be very open to having it set up for open use.
I also second the idea for vpn system, we use cisco vpn at uni and as much as it annoys me (because of their restrictive proxy, not the vpn) it does work quite well.
I've been involved on and off with the melbourne wireless group for some years. There's already a bit of a wireless network operating across melbourne, although it's very patchy.
http://melbourne.wireless.org.au/maps/
I doubt the group as a whole would be able to link into this proposal as the commercial aspects go against the community wireless theme, but there would likely be a lot of people in the group who would also like to act as hotspots, and have extremely high levels of wifi experience and knowledge.
I don't want to hijack the thead at all, but another point in interest is this would be a very very good idea to have set up in time for the iphone coming to australia. I've just got mine off the internet and it's brilliant, except that edge mobile internet is useless in australia. If there was a system of reasonably priced wifi hotspots around I would be using them every day on my phone. It's pretty safe to say that the iphone will be immensely popular here when it's launched, so that would also bring a lot of people to the network (especially the one's who install the soon-to-be-released voip app on the iphone).

Andrew

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:33 am
by terryc
[quote="stealth"]What about a service like in this article

[url]http://www.itwire.com/content/view/14043/127[/url][/quote]

This stuff always sounds wonderful until YOU start adding up your investment. Think a couple of thousand, then work out how many customers you can realisticly service, then go to the pokies and put your money through them. Your chances of a big win on the pokies is better than a business return on your hardware investment.

At least Tomizone are not dishonest and only claim distance of 20,50, maybe 100 metres for coverage at each point. Good if you are going to set it up as a hotspot inside your business. Which is why Maccas has Telstra hotspots inside their places.

Lousy if you decide you want to serve your neighbourhood. Very lousy if you think customers can get away without an external aerial (metal roofs/fences, heat sheilding, etc). The Sydney wireless mob went through all this a few years ago when wi-fi first became faddy.

P.S. If you really want to service a block of flats, the best places to be is to the side a few hundred metres away, then install a 180degree spread aerial pointed at the block of flats. You will then be able to service that side.

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:41 am
by terryc
[quote="stealth"]To some people who wouldn't mind assisting exetel in offering this service I don't think it would be an issue. [/quote]

Yep, if Exetel wanted to do, no problems, put my name on the list. Not that I expect you to come calling as I'm in a valley, in the burbs, full of single storey dwellings and Oh my god- the trees.

Now, if someone knows where I can get a 10 metre mast very economically, no problem, well apart from council permission.

OTOH, things mightn't be as bad numbers wise as I thought as Telstra recently installed a mobile tower about 100 etres away at the local oval.

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:00 am
by ForumAdmin
corona wrote:I'm all for the idea, I would love to act as a hotspot. I already have wireless router and use it extensively on my adsl2 connection, I would be very open to having it set up for open use.
I also second the idea for vpn system, we use cisco vpn at uni and as much as it annoys me (because of their restrictive proxy, not the vpn) it does work quite well.
I've been involved on and off with the melbourne wireless group for some years. There's already a bit of a wireless network operating across melbourne, although it's very patchy.
http://melbourne.wireless.org.au/maps/
I doubt the group as a whole would be able to link into this proposal as the commercial aspects go against the community wireless theme, but there would likely be a lot of people in the group who would also like to act as hotspots, and have extremely high levels of wifi experience and knowledge.
I don't want to hijack the thead at all, but another point in interest is this would be a very very good idea to have set up in time for the iphone coming to australia. I've just got mine off the internet and it's brilliant, except that edge mobile internet is useless in australia. If there was a system of reasonably priced wifi hotspots around I would be using them every day on my phone. It's pretty safe to say that the iphone will be immensely popular here when it's launched, so that would also bring a lot of people to the network (especially the one's who install the soon-to-be-released voip app on the iphone).

Andrew
Perhaps the most widespread basis for this idea is much simpler than seems to be being conjured up in some responder's minds.

My interest, and I understand that it's based on Exetel's business objectives, is to reduce the cost of internet to our current and future customers.

Now, the major cost in providing internet over DSL is the fixed (irrespective of use) cost from the DSLAM provider to Exetel.

The second most expensive cost is the traffic charge from the end user to to Exetel.

So of the, say, $40.00 you pay to Exetel $33.00 goes straight to the carrier.

Fair enough - it's a charge we agreed to.

Now - Stealth's idea introduces the concept of reducing that $33.00 charge PER end user to one half or one third that charge IF you as an end user shared your ADSL service with a neighbour or maybe two neighbours.

This is no real difference to 2 or 3 or 4 'flat mates' sharing one internet connection and using a wireless router to send the signal to their personal computers.

So instead of an ADSL service for $40.00 a month the cost to two residences is now $25.00 a month for the user who shares the service and $15.00 for the person who provides the service.

Everyone wins.....except Telstra or Optus I suppose.

Re: Wireless Hotspots

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:08 am
by trev
Whatever happened to Google's plan to provide free wifi over San Francisco? http://gigaom.com/2005/09/30/google-con ... ifi-plans/)
Two years ago when I was in San Francisco, the Google service was up and running as a pilot as I used it. This time (just back from San Francisco this morning) there were multiple free wifi providers around Union Square where my hotel was along with various Union Square hotels' unsecured wifi networks, but no sign of Google's service.

I don't see how the "free" providers make any money - I just had to agree to the terms and off I went. (The following night I resorted to my own hotel's secured wireless network as the former free provder's network was rather slow compared to the night before and I wasn't going to use another hotel's unsecured network - I'm a blood-sucking lawyer :-).

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:17 am
by Darren_111
I would definitely like to be placed on a list of Exetel ADSL2 customers interested in participating.

I think you'll find some Exetel customers are already sharing their ADSL connection through WiFi (not me!). It would be good to encourage such customers to go legit and also secure with VPN.

There's at least 100 reasons why this is a great idea. Not only are the people's ADSL connections a huge often wasted resource, but also the participants themselve will sell it to their neighbours and advertise the system to their friends. If the system is set up well, it will bring ADSL customers to Exetel just so they can become WikiWiFi Hotspots.

I'm sure many exetel customers have had this same idea. I think the time is right for this idea to explode.

Who do I have to kill to buy shares in this???

Public exetel wifi

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:33 am
by adamg
Personally, it would be nice if it would work with any wifi device (thinking voip phones and non windows machines). So this may exclude a VPN style config, but if it was able to work similar to the maccas hotspots where you go to some web page, login/register/pay and then have a certain amount of access. It would be nice if it was free to all exetel users and your usage simply applied to your 'home' adsl account. For non-exetel users I agree with others a pre-pay block system should be used.

However, while this might work well for your coffee shop and similar, if you really want to increase the coverage, then you need a *very* low cost of entry. In other words, tell the user to buy some cheap $100 - $200 wifi access point and plug it in, load some firmware, config, and forget about it. (ie, some of the WRT or ASUS routers can have opensource linux based firmware loaded to do the needed web interface or access rules etc).

Then, your cafe/hotel can go and charge money and install a nice big antenna, but the majority of home users will do nothing extra. If a couple of neighbours can use it, good, if not, no loss. This keeps the investment/costs down, and allows freedom to the user.

Maybe the exetel user using the wifi gets a penalty usage (say double what they download over wifi is deducted from their account) and the exetel user providing the wifi doesn't get any deduction for the usage (ie, a non-cash reward). Perhaps the exetel user providing wifi for the non-exetel users (pre-paid) gets a small discount from their bill based on usage.

Of course, for those that seriously need internet access anywhere, then they would be better off just getting one of the 3g internet cards from optus/telstra/vodaphone/etc.... For me it always works.

Having said that though, it is very rare that I have ever turned on my laptop and *not* seen at least one wifi network.

Anyway, just my 0.02c worth...

Actually, I'm not going to bother re-reading what I just said, and I doubt it even makes sense.... so probably it is worthless diatribe.....

meraki

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:37 am
by jmurty
Interestingly enough I ordered a few Meraki APs early this week (expecting delivery of them today) to evaluate.

http://meraki.com/

These devices offer a similar service to what is being discussed here with the added benefit of each unit being able to mesh with any other that it sees to form a highly portable distributed wifi network. Meraki adds remote admin with performance monitoring of your units via the web, as well as an optional billing system.

While I have no intention of sharing my ADSL2 connection with non friends or selling my bandwidth to unknown Meraki customers - as I suspect this would violate my acceptable usage agreement with Exetel - it would be interesting if Exetel were to form an agreement with a provider such as Meraki and could officially sanction using such a service.

Re: Wireless Hotspots

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:40 am
by bpowley
Another possibility would be reselling a service like this, which gives you global roaming:

www.ipass.com

A few ISPs in Australia already provide access to this (e.g. Internode). The ideal model for charging for this, would be usage only -- i.e. no monthly fees when you don't use it.

There's a catch, however. Telstra owns a large proportion of the wireless hotspots in Australia (e.g. those at McDonalds). And they *block access* from Australian resellers of iPass (but not from overseas resellers).

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:48 am
by thefloppy1
From business point of view at my workplace we are looking to add free wireless into the cafe` at one site, this is not to make money off but it is to encourage people to use the facilitys, and be in side the cafe, no doubt people will by coffee and other cafe releated stuff while there, but it adds to business.

On a larger scale Exetel may have a free spot in the capital citys, on this free net have adds that advertise all the services that Exetel offer, from phone plans to net deals and Gaming network.

like 802! do it in melbourne. http://802.com.au/
you can have the free service in highly populated or visited area's make it not as fast, and have adds that advertise it. With the loyalty that you build off the, do the same service to business with adds, so they can offer free net to thier customers, once again exetel get free advertising. The cycle will end when people that use the free net want that level of service and net abilty all the time, and then sell them wireless net.

I know that 3 sites that I run all use exetel DSL and I would like to offer this sort of service to our customers at our Cafe` at one of our sites.

Really this is type of service is only limited by how you apply it and how you think about it. It is not hard to have a free subscription service that will allow you to connect to free services, then build the customer loyalty and sell them a package.

The costs are going to be there regardless of which way it goes, but if it is going to cost, make the costs work for you, advertising through those costs will work. It might take some time but it will work.


cheers
Scott Bartel

Re: WikiHotSpots - network your community!

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:49 am
by MarcusAureliusMaxima
simonpaton wrote:WikiHotSpots - network your community!
I like this idea alot!!

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:00 pm
by rav0
NetworkAdmin wrote:4. The WiFi VISP bills their own customers however they want, using the usage available by the RADIUS portal

5. Because the RADIUS server is centralized, end users can roam to any WiFI VISP node
Well, the end user can't roam to any hotspot because they would be billed by each operator separately.

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:25 pm
by smithy2167
Hate to rain on the party but, by my understanding, selling bandwidth to the general public on a WiFi link is illegal, unless you have a Carrier Licence:
http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_1794#carrier

Providing bandwidth to a single premises (e.g. Hotspots) has been specifically exempted.

Also, non-commercial use is allowed:
http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_1766

However, as soon as you cross a property boundary, and start to charge, a Carrier Licence is required or stiff penalties apply.

Think someone better investigate the legalities further before any money is spent on this idea.