Roundtable to look at broadband wireless internet access options |

Roundtable to look at broadband wireless internet access options


DILLON – When will broadband wireless internet become widely available in Summit County? This will be the topic for a roundtable discussion sponsored by Our Future Summit at 7 p.m. Thursday evening, Jan. 11, in the Summit County Community and Senior Center near Frisco.With technological advances consistently improving public access to the internet, a number of business models have emerged that could provide high speed wireless connections for the entire county, a quantum leap from the Beanpole concept that was proposed a number of years ago.One model, a CenturyTel WiFi municipal network in Vail, saw its launch last month, making the resort community the first Colorado city to establish such a service.Sprint Nextel recently announced a wireless broadband business model designed to foster the rapid deployment and adoption of mobile WiMax technology in the United States and abroad.WiMax is a technology that operates similarly to WiFi but at higher speeds, over greater distances and for a greater number of users. It has the potential to do for broadband internet access what cell phones have done to phone access, replacing cable and DSL services, while providing universal internet access just about anywhere you go. A single WiMax tower could cover up to a thirty mile radius, providing coverage in even the most remote rural areas.Verizon Wireless will be launching a broadband data service in Breckenridge later this year. One focus for discussion would be possible economies of scale should the county, town, large employers, non-profits and other interested entities collaborate on a single system.The roundtable is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be available at 6:30 p.m.Our Future Summit is a non-partisan grassroots organization whose mission is to invite the participation of a broad range of citizens in addressing community-wide issues and developing shared solutions.

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