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Reaching the city

“For about $10 million, city officials believe they can turn all 135 square miles of Philadelphia into the world’s largest wireless Internet hot spot.”

135 square miles is 3,763,584,000 square feet. Let’s pretend each access point is giving us about 50 feet of range That’s 7,853 square feet per access point, or 7,500 for easy calculations and to allow some slippage. So… around 502,000 access points. That’s 20 bucks an access point even if you don’t allow for wiring costs. But the article says “hundreds, or maybe thousands of small transmitters.”

Am I woefully underestimating the range of each access point?


  1. Joe Joe

    Carefully placed transmitters probably can go further than 50 feet. My wireless in my house easily made it into the street with no loss of signal. Supposedly, the range on an Airport (from Apple) is 300 feet, not 50 feet.

    The bigger restriction is going to be what’s between you and the transmitter.

    I think it would be cool if they try.

  2. Range varies a whole lot according to what’s in between the base station and the computer.

    Also, there are lots of industrial-grade transmitters that one typically doesn’t buy for the home.

    For example, my college put in its wireless network, and they decided that they wanted students to be able to use the network on the Green, parts of which are several hundred feet away from any base station. Yet they got full campus coverage.

    They couldn’t pull off a project like this with the kind of antennae that we have.

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