Brighton’s Free Hotspots and New “Metranet”

Yesterday’s Guardian carries a somewhat confused description of Brighton’s new WiMax Metranet.

Whilst Brightonians currently are no more than 10 minutes from a free WiFi hotspot thanks to access points provided by Loose Connection (which I believe is also run by Metranet) and Pier to Pier, the new network which provides blanket coverage for 90% of the city is a separate venture. It uses not WiFi but the unratified 802.16e WiMax standard. This has greater range (the longest link at 7.5km provides 24mbs) and doesn’t require lines of sight. The main access point is on Sussex Heights, with another at the University.

The network is a joint venture between the council and the universities, and using the additional security provided by WiMax two virtual networks support the council’s intranet and a link to JANET. Some seven schools and three university sites are connected, but with the foundations laid many more could be added, as well as extra free WiFi hotspots for Brighton’s citizens. What a pity I don’t live there…

About Simon Wood

E-learning officer, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See simonwood.info for more…

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