At last, something to do when you’re stuck on the M25

At last, something to do when you’re stuck on the M25

Log onto the Net using WiFi and do your email. How? Well, according to this report,

“The U.K. government is planning to upgrade its roadside telematics system with a wireless network designed to blanket the country with low-cost wireless Internet access.

At this week’s Wireless LAN Event here, a small Exeter-based company called Last Mile Communications (a trading name of five-year-old TIVIS Ltd.) launched the patented technology the government is eyeing for its massive roadside infrastructure upgrade. Under Last Mile’s scheme, contractors would install about 150,000 inexpensive wireless broadband transceivers in such equipment as street lights and traffic lights, which will run off available power or even solar energy.

These units will self-configure into a network capable of passing signals from one node to another until it reaches an Internet uplink, a technique known as multi-hop or mesh networking. Anyone within about 250 meters (about 820 feet) of a node will be able to access a wireless connection of 40M bps to 400M bps, although the connection will probably initially be made using standards such as Wi-Fi or WiMax, which are considerably slower. A typical consumer broadband connection runs at about half a megabit per second.

The network is designed to connect to the broader Internet via any sort of uplink, including a standard T1 line or satellite broadband connection, the company said.

If Last Mile’s scheme is successful, it would make wireless dramatically more prevalent than it is now, with Wi-Fi hot spots currently limited to places such as airports, coffee shops and convention centers. It could also be a solution to the problems carriers have faced in bringing high-speed Internet access to remote areas that aren’t serviced by cable broadband or DSL.”