New software to solve municipal broadband issues

National University of Ireland - Maynooth

Image by meghansvoyages via Flickr

Scientists at the National University of Ireland (NUI) Maynooth have devised a solution to what is a major challenge for cities worldwide − the provision of widespread, free, effective broadband.

For more than 10 years this has been a goal of cities in their drive to support the ’smart economy’, but it had remained elusive due to technological limitations.

’It’s a very complex problem and a decade of research internationally had failed to provide any real progress. The key was to stop looking for complex solutions, think differently about the issues and come up with simple answers,’ said Prof Doug Leith, director of the Hamilton Institute at NUI Maynooth.

Prof Leith said that, while free broadband has always been a logical and desired goal for society, it had proven unexpectedly difficult to provide. He pointed out that London has a new commitment to having free municipal broadband available time for the 2012 Olympics, while Dublin has had it as an objective in recent years.

The two main barriers to creating successful municipal wireless networks are interference and fairness. In order to effectively cover a city, it is necessary to provide many WiFi transmitters in close proximity to each other. However, as all are constantly broadcasting and receiving, these transmissions interfere and collide with each other, resulting in poor-quality connections for most users.

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About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry's first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
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