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Testing...Testing...123

Although economic questions continue to loom large, plenty of technology homework was done before the Mayor took his plans center stage:

  • Wireless Philadelphia's blueprint calls for the use of a "license-exempt wireless spectrum" at 2400–2500 MHz and 5725–5825 MHz. The three-month technology study found that, while a variety of devices (Bluetooth and PMPs) are operating within the exempt spectrums, no technology application would stop the deployment. Forty-nine spectrum assessments were made using Bantam Industries' Bantam 425a handheld spectrum analyzer.
  • A map representing the "terrain, topology, and morphology (roads, buildings, and trees)" was created with Radio Mobile 6.1, a visual mapping software program.
  • Residential indoor testing was completed using a Hawking Technologies (H-WU36D) 802.11b USB wireless adapter. It was concluded that inside computer systems might have to be moved around to find the most robust "sweet spot."

A square-mile WiFi mesh network and a Wi Max backhaul system was built for an actual test run. Due to Philadelphia's dense urban streets, narrow alleyways, and mixed-sized rooftops, significant line-of-sight problems are anticipated. It was also recommended that the city coordinate with other facilities-based services and nonprofits "to mitigate the risk of unintentional self-interference." Nevertheless, the study found that there were no impediments to compliance with the FCC's Part 15 Rules for radio frequency devices. [9] While testing in a controlled environment may have yielded encouraging results, an actual live and ongoing test area such as The Digital Inclusion Project may reveal far more.

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