DNC Wi-Fi Update

DNC Wi-Fi Update.
Reports from the field indicate that the Democratic National Convention
Wi-Fi coverage is abysmal, other connectivity hard to find: Contrary to
pre-event reports, there is Wi-Fi at the DNC. However, they haven't
done much to make it robust, and the ENG (electronic news gathering)
spectrum overlap is probably killing the signal, too. (ENG is a
secondary licensed user across some of the Wi-Fi band.) Some reports
indicate that wise consumers came equipped with cell data cards. Slow,
but apparently reliable. My colleague Dave Sifry called earlier today
from the floor, bemoaning the lack of consistent service. He and
colleagues called around Boston to try to find 802.11a or a/g access
points, which use the 5 GHz band–which would have no overlap in the
convention center. None to be had. Blogging and Wi-Fi go hand in hand
like ham and rye, mom and apple pie…Kerry and Edwards? Take away
wireless access from a blogger, and it's just a guy or gal with a
laptop. Dave Winer, an ur-blogger covering the convention, quotes an
email from a DNC coordinator who notes that Wi-Fi (with the delightful
name of Corky1221) will be in the blogger area. Here's a blog by the
guy who appears responsible for the Wi-Fi network with a lot of detail
on what he's contending with. Oddly, he complains about 31 users on a
single base station, which is a trivial number of users even for most
consumer models to handle, and he's working with Ciscos: the giveaway
is that he talks about using a WLSE, which is Cisco's aggregation
product that works only with their own access points. The fellow sounds
remarkably technical adept–but you can only cope with ENG overlap to
some degree. The DNC should have gone 802.11a or a/g, and simply said,
look, if you want reliable connectivity, you're going to have to spend
$80 on this card or something like it. Even Mac users could get an
Atheros-based card from NetGear or D-Link and use OrangeWare's driver
for 802.11a. Otherwise, plug in…. [Wi-Fi Networking News]

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