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Islington in London is to get a mile long free Wi-Fi network starting tomorrow: BelAir Networks, which offers a mesh solution, supplied the network. Users can access the network with 802.11b clients and BelAir uses 802.11g for backhaul. There is some inconclusive discussion in this article about how the free network will coincide with the commercial hotspots offered by BT. There are some vague quotes here from Phil Belanger at BelAir about how existing BT Openzone customers are likely to continue to subscribe to that service and that the free network is available for “other reasons” than to compete with the BT network. I would conclude that the free network could steal the minimal potential customers who might exclusively need hotspots within the one mile stretch. Otherwise, BT Openzone will still appeal to customers who rely on hotspot access throughout a broader territory.
Posted by nancyg at April 18, 2005 2:15 PM
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