Looking for madcity broadband users to compare notes...

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Nick Berigan
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Looking for madcity broadband users to compare notes...

Postby Nick Berigan » Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:20 am

use madcity broadband? lemme know how it's going...

mrak
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Postby mrak » Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:50 pm

I'm giving Nick's post a gentle bump because I also want to know how people like MCB.

I'm not a subscriber now. I probably wouldn't sign up in place of my DSL at home, but would consider getting it for mobile access around town, especially if their coverage area expands onto more of the east side.

hi, i'm new here
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Postby hi, i'm new here » Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:03 pm

I signed up back in september and had horrible reception in my near eastside duplex. i had to cancel after a week or two.

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Postby mrak » Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:11 pm

Tip o' the hat to Stu Levitan for posting this link in another thread:
Can you access me now? City wireless network loses provider as it struggles to work out the kinks

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Postby sailor jonathan » Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:23 pm

I tried to use Mad City Broadband, I really did. Previously, I lived on a block that had an access point at each end, but to this day is in their yellow "undergoing optimization" area. When I could get a signal, it was powerful enough, and the network as fast as you can expect from 1 Mbps service. But most of the time, there was no signal. AT ALL. Often, the access point would "disappear" while I was using it. Then, my computer would struggle to pick up a connection from access points a few blocks away.

At my new apartment, also in the MCB yellow zone, I used it once when the building's wireless connection went down. Same deal.

Maybe it works in the green areas. I dunno. There aren't any green areas where I want to use my laptop.

Nick Berigan
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Postby Nick Berigan » Thu Apr 19, 2007 8:06 pm

My hope was to use this thing to get the wires out of my house. At the time I switched to this (and still, I think) you couldn't get dsl without getting a land line. ($15 vs $60!).

My experience has varied greatly trending downward. (I'm in the green area). I picked up a Hawkings usb directonal adapter and pointed it right at the visible access point about 150 feet away. The utility that comes with this unit tells me I have 84% of the maximum signal strength. Key point; it never varies from that. (I wish I could get the strength in signal-to-noise terms but the hawking indicator won't read that way.)

According to that utility, if the access point could handle it, I could hit 54 Mbps but of course, it can't. (I found that I had to limit upload speed or I could overwhelm the access point to the point where it disappears for ahile - it runs better with that limit.)

Two things happen that are problematic.

First, some kind of load beyond the access point occurs that bogs this down to less than dial speeds (as tested to remotediag.com). Strangely this load happens most predictably after 10 pm but also erratically at other times. I have no sense that madcitybroadband is looking into this. They are content to rest on their disclaimer about how the speed can vary depending on other users (at 10 pm?). All through this, signal strength remains strong according to the adapter utility.

Second, the access point just loses its brains periodically and seems to be starting from scratch, requiring you to go back to the clunky "storefront" login that never passes you to your originally requested page after you complete the login. (I have to wonder if others are hitting this access point at greater-than what it can handle like I was.

I read the posted story and it seems kind of dumb.

1) If the implementers of this system are focused on signal strength, they are ignoring a separate problem as indicated by the post= 10pm load thing and the access points losing their brains periodically. This is not "trees getting in the way" or "poles that are too low."

2) I also need clarification on Twigg's point that no city funds have been expended. Does he he means that there were no expenditure for the installation of the network or only does he mean no costs are incurring in managing it as it currently "exists" or both. Inquiring minds want to know.

3) I heard that the city was going to use this structure for conveying signals and communications at one point. That cannot possibly be happening in a functional way right now the way this thing is working, can it? If not, What alternatives will become necessary for those communications?

I recall some pretty glowing rhetoric about this development at its inception. I'd search the madison.com archives for some examples except for the fact that I am keying into a notepad right now due to the fact that my link just went away.

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Postby Mister_A_In_Madison » Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:38 am

Not particular to MadCity, but a couple of interesting pieces on WiFi and cellphone radiation are food for thought on whether we want MadCity to get better at what it is doing:

Danger on the airwaves: Is the Wi-Fi revolution a health time bomb?

Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?


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