[isf-wifidog] Re: ilesansfil, wifidog,
wireless toronto in a vancouver article
mlenczner at gmail.com
Mer 21 Déc 21:33:36 EST 2005
contact is matthew asham
"Matthew Asham" <matthewa at bcwireless.net>,
On 12/21/05, Max Horváth <max.horvath at maxspot.de> wrote:
> Is there a contact to BCWN?
> Are we going to get those changes committed?
> Cheers, Max!
> Am 21.12.2005 um 16:46 schrieb Michael Lenczner:
> > "While the city governments ponder the issue, activist groups
> > across the
> > continent spread the word about free wireless access through the
> > grassroots. In Toronto, there are two organizations working towards a
> > free wireless network: Wireless Toronto and the Toronto Wireless
> > Community Network. Montreal has Île sans Fil, which created the open
> > source application WifiDog for managing wireless access.
> > . . . .
> > But businesses often lack the technical skill to prevent malicious
> > users from launching viruses or spam or hogging bandwidth. That's why
> > BCWN's programmers are working on modified version of Île sans Fil's
> > WifiDog application. WifiDog makes it simpler to prevent hotspot
> > misuse, by requiring the user to log in with a central server, which
> > would be run by BCWN."
> > sweet.
> > On 12/21/05, Michael Lenczner <mlenczner at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> Free Wireless Fever
> >> Other cities are doing it. Will Vancouver?
> >> By Peter Tupper
> >> Published: December 21, 2005
> >> TheTyee.ca
> >> http://www.thetyee.ca/Mediacheck/2005/12/21/FreeWirelessFever/
> >> Vancouver, 2010 AD: Mohammad Smith cheers as his favourite
> >> competes in
> >> the Olympic archery competition. During the medal ceremony, he
> >> takes a
> >> videoclip with his digital camera and emails it to his family in
> >> Afghanistan, making a quick digital phone call to notify them. He
> >> then
> >> checks the online schedule to see what event is up next. He does all
> >> this from his seat in the bleachers.
> >> Right now, several US cities are building or planning to build
> >> citywide
> >> wireless networks, including San Francisco and Philadelphia, to
> >> attract
> >> business, support city workers and deliver broadband access to
> >> residents. Even hurricane-ravaged New Orleans has a plan to rebuild
> >> with a municipally owned, free-access wireless network. Here in
> >> Canada,
> >> Fredericton, NB has had a city-owned wireless network that covers the
> >> downtown business district and some parks and arenas.
> >> But what about the supposedly world-class city of Vancouver, BC? Will
> >> we have a wireless network for the Olympics? And if so, who will
> >> build
> >> and operate it?
> >> Ladner dubious
> >> There's also the question of whether we actually need it. While
> >> Vancouver's Vision party was strongly in favour of building a
> >> wireless
> >> network for Vancouver in partnership with a private wireless
> >> provider,
> >> and while Mayor Sam Sullivan said, "I actually think it has a lot of
> >> merit," NPA city councillor Peter Ladner takes a more cautious
> >> approach
> >> in studying this idea. "What is it we're trying to do? That's the
> >> part
> >> I haven't figured out."
> >> "There are two models that I'm aware of," continues Ladner. "One is
> >> where you're supposedly enabling business people who come to our city
> >> to flip open their laptops and get free Internet access wherever they
> >> are. The other one is where you want to enable low-income people who
> >> can't afford wireless access at home to get it out through the public
> >> domain somehow."
> >> Ladner is skeptical of both rationales for a city-owned network.
> >> Wireless access is already common in offices, cafés, airports, hotels
> >> and other places businesspeople frequent, and it's spreading rapidly,
> >> so no urgent need there. And people traveling on business usually
> >> accept having to pay for access.
> >> As for providing access to low-income people, Ladner is also dubious.
> >> "Is somebody supposed to already own a laptop, but not be able to
> >> afford connectivity? That's seems an odd kind of thing…How many
> >> people
> >> who would like to get access now can't get it through places like
> >> their
> >> school, their university, their college, the public library? There's
> >> lots of places in the Downtown Eastside where you can go and just
> >> sign
> >> on; the Carnegie Centre for instance."
> >> Wiring biz
> >> While the city governments ponder the issue, activist groups
> >> across the
> >> continent spread the word about free wireless access through the
> >> grassroots. In Toronto, there are two organizations working towards a
> >> free wireless network: Wireless Toronto and the Toronto Wireless
> >> Community Network. Montreal has Île sans Fil, which created the open
> >> source application WifiDog for managing wireless access.
> >> In this province, the main advocate of public wireless is the BC
> >> Wireless Network Society, an all-volunteer organization with no
> >> outside
> >> funding. Incorporated in 2004, the BCWN has about 500 registered
> >> users
> >> and more than 90 volunteers. Matthew Asham, the society's director,
> >> says, "We have geeks, we have nerds, we have socialists, we have
> >> hackers, we've got pharmacists, we've got city councilors, we have
> >> lots
> >> of people."
> >> In BC's cities, BCWN's main project is to encourage the growth of
> >> free
> >> hotspots, local wireless access points at coffee shops,
> >> restaurants and
> >> other businesses.
> >> Deborah Moffat, BCWN's volunteer coordinator and the manager of
> >> the ABC
> >> Country restaurant in Burnaby, says offering free wireless is
> >> valuable
> >> to businesses. "Maybe you have thirty [customers in the restaurant],
> >> and five of them are logged on, that's pretty good. That's five
> >> [customers] you might not have had, had you not had wireless. If I
> >> were
> >> alone, and I would choose the place with wireless. Also, if I had a
> >> meeting, I would choose the place that had wireless."
> >> But businesses often lack the technical skill to prevent malicious
> >> users from launching viruses or spam or hogging bandwidth. That's why
> >> BCWN's programmers are working on modified version of Île sans Fil's
> >> WifiDog application. WifiDog makes it simpler to prevent hotspot
> >> misuse, by requiring the user to log in with a central server, which
> >> would be run by BCWN.
> >> Safe and secure?
> >> Asham says this application will also address another major
> >> concern of
> >> wireless users: security. "As a registered incorporation, we are
> >> bound
> >> by law. We have privacy laws that protect the users. I'm not going to
> >> give my username, my password, my home address and my phone number to
> >> Joe Random-Coffee-Shop-Owner. I'm sorry, I'm not going to do that.
> >> "From that perspective, I believe that having the society being
> >> responsible for the safety of its users is very, very important. I
> >> think a non-profit tends to be more trustworthy as a matter of public
> >> perception than a government [agency], which has different privacy
> >> rules, or a corporation, which tends to sell information. We have no
> >> desire, no need, no ambition to go out and sell people's private
> >> data."
> >> What are other differences between free and commercial network
> >> providers? BCWN would also provide technical support to business
> >> owners
> >> who used their service, though on a volunteer basis instead of a
> >> commercial provider's guaranteed service. The differences in speed
> >> and
> >> technical support are what will keep free wireless from directly
> >> competing with commercial providers.
> >> "I don't see it being as good as a commercial provider," says Joe
> >> Bowser, BCWN's hotspot coordinator and a Linux consultant. "I
> >> don't see
> >> there being that much technical support for it. I think there will be
> >> volunteer-based technical support. There will be some services that a
> >> community network still won't be able to provide, like speed
> >> guarantees...in comparison to a commercial provider. You get what you
> >> pay for."
> >> Community building
> >> BCWN also sees hotspots as a way of encouraging community
> >> involvement.
> >> Users who log on through a WifiDog-equipped hotspot will see a logon
> >> page that will say something along the lines of, "Welcome to Ed's
> >> Coffee House. Here are our lunch specials." It will also provide
> >> links
> >> to gallery shows, poetry readings, block parties and other
> >> neighborhood
> >> events.
> >> Moffat sees this kind of community building as a way of fighting the
> >> influence of globalization on our society. "I think this is a small
> >> attempt at taking a step back in your own backyard."
> >> "Remember the days when you lived in a neighborhood, and all the
> >> mothers knew who you were? And they'd all know whether you were
> >> supposed to be home or not, and you couldn't get away with anything,
> >> because everyone knew you and it was wonderful and everyone was
> >> looking
> >> out for you all the time? That's gone. And it's gone because nobody
> >> feels a part of a small community anymore."
> >> Does Moffat believe that local wireless access will bring back a lost
> >> era? "I'm not that naïve. I said it was a step. It brings one thing
> >> back a level, so people can start to see themselves as part of a
> >> community, instead of part of this giant, global consumer purgatory."
> >> Asham says that it's likely there will be some kind of wireless
> >> network
> >> in Vancouver, one way or another. "I think it will happen regardless,
> >> if someone comes out and builds it intentionally, or if it happens
> >> as a
> >> natural side effect of Wifi being so predominant…There's an open
> >> Linksys [access point] everywhere, practically." New wireless
> >> technologies may be used to expand hotspots into hotzones which could
> >> cover entire neighborhoods, owned by local community groups like
> >> strata
> >> councils or condo boards.
> >> Who's it for?
> >> The key point is whether the network will benefit the people of
> >> Vancouver or whether it will be built and operated for corporate
> >> purposes. The concern of the activists is that, to build a piece of
> >> showcase technology to impress the world for the Olympics, the city
> >> would leave Vancouver's residents with nothing. For instance, the
> >> wifi
> >> network could be prohibitively expensive for regular users, based
> >> on a
> >> non-sustainable technology, or transmitted by Olympic kiosks that
> >> would
> >> be dismantled once the events are over.
> >> Bowser says, "If they're already using some existing money to create
> >> the network, then it should be free to everybody in Vancouver. Just
> >> like funding libraries or the arts, or building a stadium. It's
> >> another
> >> piece of infrastructure that they're adding and they own."
> >> "I don't want to see any network go the way of the McBarge [from Expo
> >> 86]," he adds.
> >> Vancouver writer Peter Tupper is a regular contributor to The Tyee.
> > _______________________________________________
> > WiFiDog mailing list
> > WiFiDog at listes.ilesansfil.org
> > http://listes.ilesansfil.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/wifidog
> WiFiDog mailing list
> WiFiDog at listes.ilesansfil.org
More information about the WiFiDog