WiMax, Why Not?


For anyone who has worked in telecom in Canada (or pretty much anywhere in North America) within the past  ten years and understands the dependence we have on a wired infrastructure for all forms of communications (Wireless, Cable, Telephone and Broadband) it comes as no surprise that, in spite of all of the hoopla about technological improvements, we are, in fact, living in a telecom world that has rapidly crumbling infrastructure.

While many parts of the telecom world are not as dependent upon a wired infrastructure, we in almost all of OHANL are completely dependent upon it for normal communications. Communications spending on maintenance and the adherence to good work standards went out the window more than ten years ago amid the blind ambition to reduce operating costs. The death knell rang for good service back when carriers outsourced their field work to contractors with no effort placed into field inspections or measured standards. You do not have to go very far out into the field to see the results of this crumbling infrastructure. It is only a matter of time that the infrastructure of the both the last mile and local distribution will fail us. Our only real hope is that it will happen after an alternative is available.

A promising alternative might be WiMax and in fact we have a WiMax-like (offering carriers refer to it as pre-WiMax) service through Inukshuk. It has been a rather less than stellar service and service issues continue to plague the user community.

So how does one change that? Telecom wannabe, Google has teamed up with Clearwire Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., and Intel Corp. to provide a sandbox WiMax implimentation at the campuses (about 52 square kilomteres) of Google, Cisco and Intel. You can read the whole story here.While WiMax has been ballyhooed for the past number of years its actually interesting to see someone “eat their own dog food” to make sure it actually works properly rather than foisting it on an unsuspecting audience.

Isn’t it about time that we seriously thought about an alternative to our rapidly decaying infrastructure?

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