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RE: [RFI] Rural Technology

To: "Dave Bernstein" <dave.bernstein@comcast.net>,<rfi@contesting.com>
Subject: RE: [RFI] Rural Technology
From: Pete Smith <n4zr@contesting.com>
Date: Tue, 07 Sep 2004 16:31:08 -0400
List-post: <mailto:rfi@contesting.com>
At 04:13 PM 9/7/2004, Dave Bernstein wrote:

Excellent article; thanks Pete!

In a recent PC week column, John Dvorak briefly discussed the use of 802.11
equipment for long-distance connectivity. Dvorak said that most consumer
802.11b transmitters run 33 mw, mentioned that SMC's 200mw PCMCIA card
claims a half-mile range with "no special antenna", and asserted that the
FCC permits up to 1W.

I wonder what sort of range one could achieve with 1W and a tower-mounted
omnidirectional antenna.

(Yes, I know part-97 allows hams to run higher power, but this would
preclude commercial applications).

I believe that the rural wireless provider that Chairman Powell of the FCC recently visited in Leesburg, VA is using 802.11 transmitters mounted on towers, and perhaps small dishes on the receiving end, to distribute broadband over quite a large area on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge. I took the well-publicized visit to be a sign that Powell was trying to back away from hitching his broadband-for-the-masses wagon too tightly to BPL. We also have at least one wireless provider who turns up fairly regularly on this reflector.

73, Pete N4ZR
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