credit where due

Since I had been kind of harsh on the convoluted path getting to this point, I feel obliged to note the news from last week that downtown's free wireless service actually started. I actually saw the advertisements for the service on the PG web page before I saw the news and wondered what was up. I have not tried to use it as yet. Does anyone have any feedback on how it works? fast? slow? coverage extensive? spotty?

Comments

2 Responses to "credit where due"

Amos_thePokerCat said... 9/26/2006 6:50 PM

Really. September. I saw a sign in that little park next the US Steel building that said free wifi back in Aug. Never did check it out. I will report back.

Amos_thePokerCat said... 10/01/2006 11:45 PM

Just fair.

I tried it for the two free hours. Since there was no Steeler game this weekend, the parking lots near the stadiums were open. I could not see which lamppost had the wifi box. I could detect 5 of the WiFiPittsburgh (SSID) nodes, but only 2 had just barely useable signals. I had to start NetStubler, and drive around the parking lot a little until I located where the signal was usable. I would have expected them to have full coverage anywhere inside the parking lots, but that does not seem to be the case.

I was only able to D/L a total of 275MB total for an average 39KB/s. I got dropped twice, maybe three times in 2 hours. The highest rate I saw was 90KB/s. Typically 50ish KB/s. Nothing special. Good for email, and web browsing, but you would not want to download your latest Linux distro on it.

Tpyically free hotel wifi, or paid T-Mobile/FexEx-Kinkos, or paid ATT/B&N (formerly SBC Freedomlink) have rates about 140-170KB/s, and they are pretty steady with no drops. Free wifi at libraries is all over the board from 20KB/s to 700KB/s (5Mb/s!), tpyically 50KB/s to 100KB/s.

All 60 nodes have already been war-driven and uploaded to wigle.net on Sep 16th.

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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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