Rhode Island - 1st statewide wireless

Rhode Island aims to become the nation's first wireless state, offering border-to-border broadband connectivity, Reuters reported April 28. The Rhode Island Wireless Innovation Networks (RI-WINs) is the private-public partnership that will operate the $20 million project. A hybrid of WiMAX and Wi-Fi technologies, the network will eventually place 120 base antennas in the 1,045 square-mile state. RI-WINs, launched in 2004 by the Business Innovation Factory, expects to be fully operational by 2007, the article reports. Fees would be $20 per month or a usage fee. Rhode Island has a population of 1.08 million.

According to the RI-WINs web site, project partners include the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC), the Ocean State Higher Education Economic Development and Administrative Network (OSHEAN), Brown University, and IBM, which became project manager for the pilot test in November 2005.



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