All Rhode Island to have wi-fi

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Rhode Island embarks on wireless network
Fri Apr 28, 2006 04:44 PM ET

By Richard C. Lewis
PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (Reuters) - America's smallest state is seeking to
become its first to offer a wireless broadband network from border to
border.
Backers of Rhode Island's $20 million project say it would improve services
and make the state a testing ground for new business technologies.
It also comes at a time when Rhode Island's capital of Providence is
stepping up efforts to lure business from Boston, about a 50-minute drive
away, in neighboring Massachusetts, where office rents are among the
nation's most expensive.

The Rhode Island Wireless Innovation Networks (RI-WINs) should be fully in
place by 2007, providing wireless connectivity throughout state, whose land
mass of about 1,045 square miles is only slightly more than double the size
of metropolitan Los Angeles.

A pilot project involving state agencies, Brown University and businesses is
to begin next month.

The Rhode Island network is a hybrid of WiMAX and WiFi technologies that
would deliver real-time connections at a minimum speed of 1 Megabit per
second (Mbps), allowing users to download a typical Hollywood-length film in
about 100 minutes. The system will be supported by 120 base antennas placed
throughout the state.
 
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