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美国面积最小州建无线网

2006-05-08 14:38何晓鸿,CRI

Rhode Island Embarks on Wireless Network

目前,美国面积最小的州-罗得岛州正试图成为美国第一个在全境建成一个无线宽带互联网的州。该项目的设计者强调,它最大好处在于使全州成为新型商用技术的试验田。

America's smallest state is seeking to become its first to offer a wireless broadband network from border to border.

建成无线互联网以招徕外州公司

据路透社4月28日报道,这一耗资2000万美元的项目的支持者说,它将提高罗得岛州的网络服务水平,并能为那些希望借助无线互联网来推销新技术的公司提供一块试验田。目前,罗得岛州首府普罗维登斯市正在努力吸引邻近的马萨诸塞州波士顿市的公司搬迁至此。从普罗维登斯到波士顿需要50分钟车程,而波士顿是全美办公楼租金最贵的城市。

Backers of Rhode Island's $20 million project say it would improve services and make the state a testing ground for new business technologies.

It also comes at a time when Rhode Island's capital of Providence is stepping up efforts to lure business from Boston, about a 50-minute drive away, in neighboring Massachusetts, where office rents are among the nation's most expensive.

按照计划,该项目将于下月启动,相关设施将在2007年以前安装到位,届时在罗得岛州全州范围提供无线互联网连接服务。罗得岛州的面积约为1045平方英里(约合2700平方公里),只比两个洛杉矶市稍大一点。

The Rhode Island Wireless Innovation Networks (RI-WINs) should be fully in place by 2007, providing wireless connectivity throughout state, whose land mass of about 1,045 square miles is only slightly more than double the size of metropolitan Los Angeles.

罗得岛州计划兴建的无线互联网将应用WiMAX和WiFi两种技术规范,提供的实时连接速度最高将达1兆比特/秒。用户可以在大约100分钟时间内,下载一部普通长度的好莱坞影片。为此,将在全州范围内设立120个天线基站,每个基站高约3英尺到4英尺(约1米左右)。

A few antennas, each about 3 feet to 4 feet in height, are being placed in Providence and Newport on the southern coast during the initial tests.

这个项目的经理鲍勃·帕诺夫表示,到目前为止,除了罗得岛州以外,美国其他各州都没有兴建全州范围无线互联网的项目。

So far, no state outside Rhode Island has sought to build a border-to-border network, said Bob Panoff, a private consultant and the RI-WINs project manager.

无线网在美国叫好不叫座

代表互联网公司的美国互联网协会主席戴夫·麦克卢尔说,尽管越来越多的美国城市对兴建无线互联网感兴趣,但用户对此却缺乏热情。该协会2005年8月所做的一项调查显示,美国有超过80个城市已经拥有无线互联网。但麦克卢尔指出,由于用费昂贵、标准各异,无线互联网的应用始终零零星星。去年,佛罗里达州奥兰多市甚至因此停止了无线互联网服务。

While more cities are interested in becoming wireless, "there's no groundswell of consumer support for it," said Dave McClure, president of the U.S. Internet Industry Association (USIIA), which represents Internet companies.

More than 80 U.S. cities have wireless networks, according to a study done in August 2005 by the association.

无线互联 用处多多

报道说,罗得岛州的这个项目由政府和私人共同出资。项目成员之一、罗得岛经济发展公司经理卡普兰说,项目建成后,使用者需要每月支付20美元,或者成为包年用户。政府官员们表示,无线互联网将为商务、教育、急救、医护和港口安全工作提供服务。

The project is being funded by public and private sources, and once fully operational, users would pay $20 per month or a membership fee based on annual usage, said Saul Kaplan, acting executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, a partner in the project.

比如,州卫生检察官在餐馆执法时,可以通过联网的膝上型电脑,把有关信息传送到卫生部门的中心数据库中;急救工作者可以在送病人去医院的路上,从救护车上发送病人信息给医院,以节省宝贵时间;大学研究生则可以通过无线互联网,给公立中学的学生上课。

Officials said the network would support services including business, education, emergency, health care and port security.

During the six-month pilot phase, for example, state health inspectors will test the system by entering data from restaurant visits into laptops and sending the information to the health department.

Emergency workers will test sending patient information from an ambulance while en route to a hospital.

Graduate students at Brown University, a partner in the project, will use the wireless network when teaching public school students.

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