I'd be more than happy to help answer any questions Mr. Schiff or others
may have in regards to wireless.

In general, some of my concerns/suggestions regarding wireless are:
1.) that the state does not prohibit city-initiated wireless networks as
happened in Pennsylvania.  Cities should not need to get permission from
private companies in order to build infrastructure.
2.) ultimately, the city should own/control the system, although it may
make sense to contract the day-to-day operations out to a private company
(the system itself shouldn't become private property or be sold to a
private corporation).
3.) some form of access should be available to visitors to Minneapolis
(i.e. nonsubscribers).  Perhaps non-subscribers could have a bandwidth
limited connection (e.g. 256kbps).
4.) have a way to contribute to/participate in the system without requiring
subscribing and monthly fees.  For this I suggest that current broadband
users could make their connections publicly available to anyone authorized
to use the Mpls system, and in return they would receive authorization to
use the Mpls system.  The authorization check could be handled by
contacting a central auth server.  The broadband users wishing to make this
kind of arrangement could pick up a customizable wireless device such as
the Linksys WRT54G that was preloaded with one of the free WRT54G
firmwares.  The preloaded firmware would be set up to handle the
authentication needs.  A WRT54G usually costs between $45-$75.  (I should
mention that part of this idea of users putting up an open AP and in return
getting access to other APs came from something I heard or read about a
year ago, but I don't recall where.  It may have been a Cringely article.)
5.) security: use a VPN over 802.11b/g instead of WEP/WPA.  Using the VPN
should be optional, but a captive portal that only permits HTTP/HTTPS
traffic could periodically (say every 10-15 minutes) remind users that they
are not using a VPN secured connection, and give them info how to use the VPN.
6.) roaming: something like SOWN's TransparentMobility system would be very
very nice (http://www.sown.org.uk/index.php/TransparentMobility).  Then you
can roam between access points without losing your open connections.  This
is very important for things like VOIP or SSH sessions.
7.) it'd be good to have a way to allow wireless enthusiasts to participate
at a higher level in the system
8.) radio frequency coordination issues (using 802.11b/g for client
connections, and 802.11a or physical cabling for backbone links).
9.) bandwidth management software is necessary to prevent one client from
using too many resources.  Tools include Frottle, Wondershaper and others.

-Haudy Kazemi

At 10:47 AM 5/15/2005 -0500, Becky_Pihl wrote:
>Steve Ulrich, TCWUG,
>TCWUG info &/or TCWUG Webmaster  and
>Minneapolis City Councilmember Gary Schiff (Ward 9),
>     cc: the "tcwug-list at tcwug.org" list server:
>I went to the Mpls DFL convention this past Saturday May 14th.
>(No Endorsement for Mayor;  WHAT A WASTE OF TIME!!!)
>While there, I had a brief conversation with my councilman, Mr. Gary 
>Schiff, of Ward 9
>I mentioned to him:
>the TCWUG.org web site (http://www.tcwug.org/),
>how you have meetings (http://www.tcwug.org/meetings/index.html), 
>typically every second Tuesday of the month,
>how your organization is better informed as to Wi-Fi (and Wi-Max) issues 
>than most other people,
>and my concern that the proposed City of Minneapolis' Wi-Fi network be 
>"done right", including (but not limited to) compatibility with Wi-Fi 
>versus Wi-Max.
>* I hope that this memo, sent to all of you, will start a conversation 
>between the TCWUG and Mr. Schiff,
>such that Councilmember Schiff, one of the decision makers regarding the 
>proposed Wi-Fi network in Minneapolis, will be better informed with his 
>own questions, concerns &/or requirements  when the city's staff comes 
>to him with the proposed system. 
>* Please invite him, or his aide, to one of your meetings such that you 
>can exchange information, and hopefully result in a better Wi-Fi system 
>down the road.
>* At the very least, please send him some sort of a summary of your 
>concerns so that he can pass them along to the relevant staff members.
>Thank you,
>Leif  O.  Pihl 
>Twin Cities Wireless Users Group Mailing List - Minneapolis/St. Paul,
>tcwug-list at tcwug.org