Rural Fulham? Why bother meshing WiFi in London!

by Guy Kewney | posted on 25 June 2004

There's absolutely nothing rural about Fulham, South-West London. Yet Mesh networking specialist Space IP has installed a mesh network in Fulham. This is normally seen as a way of getting broadband to remote countryside - so why use a mesh to provide Internet services to residents and businesses in Sands End?

Guy Kewney

Apparently, it's to do with scalability. "The LocustWorld Mesh provides a secure wireless broadband and hotspot solution, offering scalable network growth. It's cost effective and easy to install." says Jim Marshall-Andrew from Space IP. "Using the mesh, you don't have to limit yourself to an isolated single point hotspot. The mesh provides a superior solution and it is readily available".

What he doesn't point out, is that this will do wonders for the LocustWorld marketing campaign.

The reason is simple enough: when people want to try a radical-sounding technology like mesh, there are lots of experts who will tell you that it doesn't work, or that it works very badly if you are more than one hop away from the backhaul - and so on. It's easy enough to demonstrate that this isn't true, if you visit a mesh, of course.

"Our problem is, almost all our meshes are rural," said Richard Lander. "People come here from Singapore or New Zealand or California, and they balk at the idea of a long drive into some countryside village in the middle of nowhere, even if most British natives would recognise a town like Huntingdon as a major centre. So now we can show them a working mesh in London itself."

The first stage of the Fulham network has been operational for a few months and Space IP have been working in partnership with local groups, stressing the benefits this will bring the local community. Space IP offer anyone with a wireless device the opportunity to connect to the Internet for a nominal charge or for free. "Terrestrial broadband charges are prohibitive for occasional users, while this mesh network provides flexible, affordable services for all," said the company

Visitors to Sands End can use the network for a free trial. Contact Space IP for more information.

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