New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin has announced a plan towithin a year to help boost the economy:
“What we learned is a network like this is important as a backup in case all other communications fail,” the mayor said.
The system uses hardware mounted on street lights. Most of the $1 million in equipment was donated by three companies: Intel Corp., Tropos Networks Inc. and Pronto Networks. The companies also plan to donate equipment for the citywide expansion.
The network uses “mesh” technology to pass the wireless signal from pole to pole rather than each Wi-Fi transmitter being plugged directly into a physical network cable. That way, laptop users will be able to connect even in areas where the wireline phone network will take time to restore.
The system will provide download speeds of 512 kilobits per second as long as the city remains under a state of emergency. But the bandwidth will be slowed to 128 kbps in accordance with a limit set by Louisiana’s law once the city’s state of emergency is lifted at an unknown future date.
Because the next time the levees are breached, residents can rejoice knowing they can still check their email while trapped in their attics.
[ * Post title is a reference to a previous Nagin quote]