If disaster strikes which one do you bet on for getting back up and usable faster?
“Oftentimes, many of us immersed in Bay Area tech look straight for the shiny solutions, regardless of how ineffective they might be when the infrastructure collapses” – Eric Rice
4 thoughts on “WiFi vs Cell Networks Question”
Neither. We need a satellite infrastructure for disaster. I’ve got a paper I downloaded around here if you’re interested (and I can find it).
Without satellite, it’s really a crapshoot which would work.
Peter, good point. It’s the crapshoot I’m interested in. WiFi, citizens have a shot at bootstrapping. I’m not sure if the potential exists for other communication methods.
You’re right about the bootstrapping, Garrick, and it did happen in NOLA after Katrina. Community Wireless types got their and got a mesh of sorts going. Certainly easier than trying to set up ad hoc cell towers, I would think!
Interesting and related point, the FCC ruled that emergency wireless networks for disaster relief are still subject to CALEA (http://urltea.com/13n5) which would make it pretty difficult for community wireless activists to create compliant networks.
Hmmmm. So, if a US community goes dark and the fastest way to get reconnected to the rest of the nation is a cobbled-together mesh, the implementors could be taken to court because the emergency network wasn’t CALEA-compliant? Unhelpful.
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