Nicholas Negroponte…

…and his crazy ideas.

“Any industry that has a very dominant position has to be looking for ways to diversify,” Negroponte said, and technology itself might provide the answer.

“Lamppost or manhole manufacturers, perhaps — lampposts are ideal sites for locating base stations for Wi-Fi networks: “Each lamppost could be a Wi-Fi peer-to-peer station,” Negroponte said.

Manholes are spaced at regular intervals throughout a city and could be used for — who knows, he says; but now is a good time to start thinking about the unexpected possibilities


Posted on October 3, 2003, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Not exactly the same, but… Verizon had a plan to make all the public pay phones in New York City Wi-Fi access points. This was to be a free service for all their residential & corporate customers.

    • Interesting. So they didn’t go ahead with it, did they?

      If I may ask, how come you follow Wi-fi so much? Just an interest, or do you work on wi-fi? I ask ‘cos last time you left a comment on my journal, it had something to do with wi-fi too (if my memory serves me right).

      • I don’t know. Someone from Verizon told me about this long back. (This was during the planning phase). I found it interesting in many ways — putting existing infrastructure to the best use to reduce costs, by-passing external agencies (say, getting permission from city council for using lampposts), better security to equipment etc.

        I don’t follow WiFi news much. The place where I currently live has a pretty good community network. So news tidbits can be found at all unexpected places! I don’t use WiFi at work or home though.

        I work mostly on embedded systems. I don’t remember the old comment; but if it was WiFi related, it is most likely to be info I got from someone else 😉

      • Ah…Ok! True, pay phones I guess ought to be more manageable than man hole covers for sure!! Should be interesting to see how it goes. It may be a good idea to try out this model here too. Reminds me of something that Rajesh Jain had mentioned in his blog( sometime ago. Have something like an information centre in every village (though i would think it could as well be any locality), that can provide a bunch of services (say printing, pay phones, fax, xerox, email for those who don’t have PCs etc etc..), also set up a wi-fi hot spot there, so that everyone in that locality has access. I think its a workable idea. The only thing is to ensure that wi-fi coverage is good and secure, and that small entrepreneur who runs the centre earns decently.

        So you with MS / Amazon? (those are the only 2 companies i know in seattle :-))

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