Greenville, N

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2007-09-10 Print this article Print

.C."> Greenville, N.C. Greenville, N.C., is taking a different approach to muni Wi-Fi than some other cities. In Greenville, muni Wi-Fi serves the downtown area and the adjacent East Carolina University. Installation began in March 2007, and the Phase 1 installation was completed in May. Greenville chose Nortel Networks to take on the muni Wi-Fi project, a natural outgrowth of existing city operations, according to Greenville IT Director Rex Wilder. "We went with Nortel because we had a Nortel PBX and decided to keep that system and add Nortel VOIP," Wilder said. "It was easy to continue with a Nortel wireless product."
Read here about the myth of municipal wireless.
Angela Singhal White­ford, director of municipal wireless solutions for Nortel, said Greenville was very focused in terms of the goals for its implementation. "Theyre focusing on the downtown using a wireless mesh technology," said Whiteford in Boston. "The reason theyre doing this is economic development. Theres also a tie-in with the university. East Carolina University thought that one way to attract students to the university was to advertise that it has Wi-Fi in the downtown area." Greenville has solved the funding problem by getting private industry to pay for the municipal Wi-Fi system. "In general, its the operator thats providing and paying for the network," Whiteford said. "We brought a service provider to the table, and that provider is WindChannel Communications. Thats a big deal because a lot of the cities say they dont want to own and operate the network. They say theyll be an anchor tenant and give right of way." Another good reason for going with a provider is support. "Smaller cities probably have an IT staff of two to five people," Whiteford said. "For them to own and operate these networks, thats the last thing they want. Thats not their core competency." Page 4: Welcome to Wireless

Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazineÔÇÖs Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.

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