Parkfairfax Unit Owners Association

Parkfairfax Floral Landscape

Community Wi-Fi: A Possibility?

Community Wi-Fi: A Possibility?

Some residents have inquired about the possibility of community Wi-Fi access. Althou­gh Parkfairfax has several hotspots for Wi-Fi connectivity – the pools, the office and the exercise room – there is no neighborhood-wide Wi-Fi. The Community Outreach Committee researched the feasibility of providing this service.

Some telecommunications companies across the country provide community broadband access using a mesh network. Comcast does not use that technology. Two years ago, Comcast launched its home-based, neighborhood hot-spot initiative, in which subscribers host Wi-Fi hot spots that other Comcast customers are able to use as part of their monthly broadband service. Comcast subscribers who are using the company’s newest wireless gateways for home Wi-Fi automatically broadcast an additional Xfinity Wi-Fi signal. That additional signal can be used by other Comcast Xfinity broadband customers (they already have access to Comcast’s public Wi-Fi network).  For a complete discussion of this service, visit http://www.cnet.com/news/comcast-expands-wi-fi-network-with-new-neighborhood-initiative/. The access is great for visitors, but does not have much impact for nearby residents who have not subscribed to Comcast/Xfinity Internet service.

There may be new options in the future. The City of Alexandria has begun a search for additional Internet providers for connectivity between its agencies as a small step toward the community broadband discussion. A full discussion of this initiative can be found in Vice Mayor Justin Wilson’s newsletter at http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs163/1109043704255/archive/1123260333422.html#LETTER.BLOCK83

 

For now it appears we will need to see what happens at City Hall.

Some residents have inquired about the possibility of community Wi-Fi access. Althou­gh Parkfairfax has several hotspots for Wi-Fi connectivity – the pools, the office and the exercise room – there is no neighborhood-wide Wi-Fi. The Community Outreach Committee researched the feasibility of providing this service.

Some telecommunications companies across the country provide community broadband access using a mesh network. Comcast does not use that technology. Two years ago, Comcast launched its home-based, neighborhood hot-spot initiative, in which subscribers host Wi-Fi hot spots that other Comcast customers are able to use as part of their monthly broadband service. Comcast subscribers who are using the company’s newest wireless gateways for home Wi-Fi automatically broadcast an additional Xfinity Wi-Fi signal. That additional signal can be used by other Comcast Xfinity broadband customers (they already have access to Comcast’s public Wi-Fi network).  For a complete discussion of this service, visit http://www.cnet.com/news/comcast-expands-wi-fi-network-with-new-neighborhood-initiative/. The access is great for visitors, but does not have much impact for nearby residents who have not subscribed to Comcast/Xfinity Internet service.

There may be new options in the future. The City of Alexandria has begun a search for additional Internet providers for connectivity between its agencies as a small step toward the community broadband discussion. A full discussion of this initiative can be found in Vice Mayor Justin Wilson’s newsletter at http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs163/1109043704255/archive/1123260333422.html#LETTER.BLOCK83

 

For now it appears we will need to see what happens at City Hall.