[linux-elitists] I3

Ben Woodard ben@valinux.com
Thu Aug 30 10:21:44 PDT 2001

> On Wed, 29 Aug 2001, Ben Woodard wrote:
> > nice link EXCEPT for one thing. This is all about digital
> > __BROADCAST__ radio.  What I am talking about is using the ham bands
> > where licenced individuals are allowed to transmit as well as
> > receive. The reason for that is it allows us to setup a private high
> > bandwidth network between individuals.
> Wait for ultrabroadband. Meanwhile, ad hoc 802.11x will do.

I've been watching both sides of the ultra wide band communication and
I honestly don't think it is going to fly. There are too many deeply
entrenched parties who do not want the signal to noise ratio of their
allocated bandwidth messed with. 

802.11 is pretty nice. I use it every day. However, there is only so
much you can do with 50 milliwatts. There is this very basic law
called shannon's law. Basically, it says something like the amount of
information that can be sent over a communication channel is
purportional to the width of the band being used to send the
information and the signal to noise ratio over that band. The problem
is that even in the best conditions 50 milliwatts is awfully close to
the noise floor. Now as more 802.11 sites get setup, the overall noise
floor rises (distant communication sound like noise). As you get
further from a 802.11 site the signal that you are tring to recieve
gets weaker and harder to distinguish from the noise. As the signal to
noise ratio drops you can't send as much information reliably and
throuput drops. On the ham bands you can use up to 1500W that is
roughly 30,000 times the power. With that kind of power you can punch
through virtually any signal to noise ratio.

The key thing that I think you are missing is that with ultraband and
ad-hoc 802.11 it is more of the same thing. I guess I've been involved
with the internet long enough (since 1989) and I've seen it change
enough that I feel like it is polluted. I don't think that just adding
more bandwidth is going to fix many of the problems on the internet. I
don't think that just adding more bandwidth is going to allow the
internet to realize its full potential. I think we need to create a
protected place with a different set of rules. That is why I think
that making something distinctly different is needed. 

We can take all that we learned, we can take all that is good about
the internet and carry it over but in the process we can get rid of
some of the bad things. e.g. spam and silly people administering DNS.


> The concept is not new, not is there at all public awareness that this is
> being needed, yet.

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