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Thursday, December 11, 2003

Wireless City, USA

Every Captain has a home port, and this Captain's hometown has decided to be the first wireless city in the nation:

CERRITOS, Calif. - Browsing the Web from this Southern California city may soon become an outdoor sport.

The first phase of a project to establish citywide wireless Internet access is slated to begin next month. Ultimately, anyone with a laptop or wireless device will be able to surf the Web from virtually anywhere in the city's 8.6-square-mile area.

When my family moved to Cerritos in 1970, it was a small town on the fringe of LA that consisted in large part of dairies ... with lots of cows ... that you could smell from everywhere, it seemed. During the real-estate boom in the 70s, the dairies all sold out for development and Cerritos is now a thriving, upscale neighborhood where I couldn't afford to live if I cloned myself three times over. Across from my old high school (go Dons!), where a pasture used to be is now a megaplex of retail shopping, theater, and hotels.

Cerritos has long pursued a policy of early adoption of technology. The library, also across from my old high school, was one of the first nationwide to use RFID to manage its inventory and automate the check-out process. Well before any other community, Cerritos installed fiber-optic cable for an experimental cable TV/telephone system from GTE, which was supposed to deliver movies on demand and digital telephony. In fact, this system may have been the reason Cerritos was not able to adopt any other high-speed Internet access technology:

The 51,000 residents of Cerritos, located 26 miles southeast of Los Angeles, have not had DSL broadband access to the Internet because the city is too far from the telephone company's central office. Cable Internet access has not been an option, either, Hylton said.

City-wide WiFi is just another way in which the Captain's hometown keeps innovating, and I wish them the best of luck in its implementation.

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02:12 PM in Web/Tech | Permalink


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