Wifi Mesh in London, Wifi Sharing on Time Warner, and Fast Roaming 802.11r

Lots of wireless networking in the news today.

Honey, there?s a guy in the yard using our Wi-Fi and he wants a decaf latte While most Internet service providers don?t allow users to share access on their wireless networks, Time Warner Cable, in cooperation with Spanish start-up Fon, is encouraging customers to set up their own residential hotspots. Fon builds a router that splits a Wi-Fi connection in two ? one private, for the owner, and one public; the owner allocates the bandwidth available for each.

Does London Have a Reason to Mesh? London is officially jumping on the mesh Wi-Fi bandwagon today with operator The Cloud switching on the 127-node network built with BelAir Networks gear. With some of the large-scale Wi-Fi networks like Taipei?s slow to bring in a significant amount of users, it?s becoming clear that networks need to be built for a variety of specific uses like public safety, or smartly targeted at a population that will actually utilize Wi-Fi services. It?s not as easy as ?build it and they will come.?

Wi-Fi cloaks the City of London The service, launched Monday by The Cloud Networks, uses mesh technology to provide continuous connectivity to more than 350,000 users located in the 2.6-square kilometer city borough, in addition to the thousands of people visiting the area each day.

Wi-Fi-Sharing Communities Rise Up The Wi-Fi business is about to change, big time. One indication: A deal between FON and Time Warner Cable. The cable company agreed to allow its customers to share their bandwidth through FON’s global Wi-Fi sharing community, whose users can use each other’s Wi-Fi access points for free.

Fon Loops in Time-Warner in First US Deal Time Warner Cable will allow its 6.6m broadband subscribers to share their connections via Fon: The Spanish startup has based its strategy on leveraging existing broadband connections, and, in fact, pitching to ISPs that more connections would be installed as a result of Fon?s approach. Fon turns its members??Foneros?access points into hotspots that cost about $2 or ?2 for access. You can also share your Fon hotspot at no cost to a like group of Foneros.

802.11r: Wireless LAN Fast Roaming For Wi-fi to serve as a foundation for mobile applications and voice, networks must provide secure mobility. And to achieve that, mobile devices need robust authentication and encryption, fast roaming and QoS (quality of service). Enterprise IT pros should pay attention to the IEEE’s 802.11r fast-roaming task group, whose standard is likely to make its way to market by late 2007 or early 2008, with broad adoption by enterprise solution providers in 2008.

Public Wi-Fi may turn your life into an open notebook Several tables away was a guy sitting alone with his own laptop. “He’s starting a business,” Cheung said. And the young couple in the far corner? “They’re getting married,” he confided. Cheung isn’t psychic. He had hacked into the coffee shop’s wireless Internet connection on his Toshiba laptop. It took him all of about five minutes to do so, using free software available online.