Don’t look now, but your neighborhood is going wireless.
Municipal and community WiFi networks are on the verge of becoming a ubiquitous feature of the urban environment. This wireless infrastructure has made it increasingly possible for people to incorporate Internet use into their everyday experiences. In many cases, these busy people need to get their email or look at something on their laptop computers.
Manchester Community Technologies, Inc.(MCT) a California non-profit public benefit corporation is establishing a public WiFi network covering the business districts along Manchester Blvd and its major intersections in Inglewood and South Los Angeles. The project, dubbed ‘Manchester:One’ (M:1), hopes to have a "functioning and meaningful" network in place by the end of 2009, according to Revlyn L. Williams, PhD, MCT’s Executive Director.
This ambitious project model is different from other WiFi networks currently operating in many major cities around the country. The concept involves plugging into a business’ existing broadband connection and creating a WiFi cloud in the neighborhood. Every access point recognizes the others, and users log in once to access the entire network.
Dr. Williams said. "It remains to be seen exactly what our coverage will be, but in our model, business sponsors will help build the network from LaBrea Ave, east to Van Ness Ave. Ultimately, the network will extend west from the (405) San Diego Freeway, east to the (110) Harbor Freeway."
"We build off the existing network where people are most likely to use WiFi, and partner with the businesses that want to benefit from the shared use and secure accessability.", she continued. "Ideally the goal is to have all free access. We supply the network management."
The goal of M:1 is to promote a community hotspot environment in an effort to help bring business back to Manchester stores, shops, offices, boutiques and restaurants. By providing free WiFi connectivity to patrons, customers and residents, businesses will see increased traffic, resulting in increased sales.
MCTMCT is initially offering to fund the best sites for WiFi to introduce the service to businesses. For businesses opting into the network, their advertising is projected over the entire network - including a live Internet radio station — and can be changed in real time.
Getting business noticed is one of the many unique benefits of the M:1 Network. Free user Wi-Fi is about getting noticed out in the public, in as many locations as possible. By allowing access to the M:1 portal and the ability to offer a free public wireless service, the M:1 Network does just that and more by providing each business participant with an inexpensive, shared network option with far-reaching benefits.
Look around, many businesses are offering free WiFi to their customers not just because it is nice to have, they offer it to attract more business. The trend is clear that more people are using it to stay in touch and save some money. New handheld products and cell phones are now Wi-Fi enabled for good reason, because it is one of the fastest growing technologies out there.
Being in the M:1 Network makes good business sense. It allows a business to share the cost, giving you more value for the money you spend. Quite simply, you share the network along with other business owners and take full advantage of the benefits from the shared use and exposure.
"Although Manchester:One is focused on increasing business in one of the major thoroughfares and business districts in Inglewood and South Los Angeles, this is more than just offering free Internet access.", said Eric Sloan, MCT’s Chief Technology Officer and Manchester:One WiFi Project Manager. "It’s all about using this technology to unite community and commerce to attract new businesses, talented people, and provide a valuable tool to support communication for the citizens of this community."
Mr. Sloan added, "This is how real economic development and growth is created and sustained; by a strong collaboration between technology, business, community, and city leaders to find the best use for this technology. We are committed to expanding the use of wireless communications along the beautiful streets and avenues of Inglewood and other business districts"
MCT is currently developing several new software interfaces for various groups expected to utilize the network. However, M:1 WiFi connectivity is currently available in a limited section of the planned project area, between 12th Ave. continuing east to 5th Ave in Inglewood Unrestricted Internet access is available to the public from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily, FREE of charge.
Manchester:One is working with businesses and city leaders to forge alliances and the response has been tremendous. We invite you to become involved, participate and benefit from its many options.
How It Works
The concept behind our Free WiFi network is simple. Like all wireless Internet access you need to receive a broadcasted signal. This signal comes from a wireless router, which literally routes an Internet connection over the airwaves.
There are two types of wireless routers in our network: gateways and repeaters. A gateway is directly plugged into an Internet connection and a repeater is not. A repeater just repeats any wifi signal from our network it can pick up. Therefore a gateway router significantly increases the speed of the network in that location because your signal has a shorter distance to travel to an Internet connection.
How Our Communities Benefit
As a community, you benefit from free Internet access in common areas such as parks, outdoor spaces near your house, or by merely taking a stroll down the boulevard.
For businesses, sharing your Internet connection has benefits. Not only will customers want to stay longer and enjoy your other services, but you will be enhancing the community around you. People seek out and prefer businesses who provide free wifi.
Right now, a donation of $250 sponsors a gateway or repeater. We provide installation and support for free. For businesses also included is design for your free ad which will appear on several positions throughout the M:1 Network websites and splash page.
If you are hosting a gateway you’ll still pay your standard monthly Internet fees with your service provider. However, the additional WiFi traffic at your location should never increase your expenses at all.
How You Can Help
Host a gateway. This is very easy. Gateways are the most valuable thing for the network because they give secure direct access to the Internet. If you would like to host a gateway please order one now! If you are a business we will give you recognition in our hosts panel found on the bottom of each page.
Host a repeater. Can your computer detect the network from your location but the signal is weak? Simply plug in a node and it becomes a repeater which boosts the signal. You don't need an Internet connection or anything, just a power outlet. If you don't have an Internet connection, or you would rather just boost a signal order one now. If you do have an Internet connection please consider sharing it to better your community.
If you are interested in helping the community and/or your customers benefit from this value added service call (424)294-0424 or visit www.manchesterone.info.