Saturday, February 21, 2009

Local Wifi in southern Connecticut

This is so cool! About a week ago we had a power outage on my street, but I saw there was power on the avenue right near our house. So I fired up the laptop to look for a working wireless router that I might be able to sneakily hook up to.

Sadly, nearly all of them had security enabled, except for the one that said "Optimum Wifi". For the hell of it I clicked on it, and it asked for my Optimum password. I didn't even know my password, so I called Cablevision.

It turns out this little box hanging from the wires above is a wifi access point, located about 100 feet from my house.

When I visited the Optimum website, I saw that they are now offering wifi service to Optimum customers in many locations throughout Fairfield and New Haven counties, along with southern NY state. By going to the website you can access an interactive Google map that shows all the APs throughout the area. The web address for the map is in the graphic below.

I checked, and they have wifi service that covers many schools and public buildings in town, so my laptop has access where my district DTC meets, along with City Hall and many other convenient locations.

The great thing about this is that for doing cool things like live streaming video or live blogging an important meeting. I even see that the marina where I keep my boat has wifi coverage! So you'll know where you can find me when the weather's nice!

I guess I'm going to bite the bullet and figure out how to live stream video, so I'll be ready to broadcast special events. Like important public meetings, or the local St. Patrick's parade, for instance.

Yay, now I got geeky things to learn today!


Anonymous said...

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of potential upsides to adding WiFi all over the place. However, I still have to wonder what is going to happen when their 2.4Gz access point across the street hanging from the wire starts to interfere with my 2.4Gz cordless phone in my house or visa-versa.

CT Bob said...

That's a valid concern. But I have my 2.4Ghz cordless phone about 12 inches from my home wireless-G router, and it doesn't hamper it in the least. Plus, I use a 2.4G wireless keyboard equally as close. Nada.

I don't think they'd be able to get FCC approval for the access points if there was any indication that it could interfere with other commonly produced devices. I wouldn't worry about it.