Metro Wi-Fi Makes Ruckus in Cleveland and Hartford Indoor Wi-Fi Signal Penetration, Faster User Adoption of Wi-Fi Metro

Services and Lower Support Costs Cited as Key Drivers for High-Gain Wi-Fi

Modems



    CHICAGO, June 19 /PRNewswire/ -- NXTCOMM CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION --
 Ruckus Wireless today announced that it has been selected to provide its
 award-winning MetroFlex indoor Wi-Fi modem solution to support the rollout
 of metro Wi-Fi network services in Cleveland and Hartford. The Ruckus
 MetroFlex was also named with winner of the 2007 Eos award for Home
 Networking (see related release) at the NXTcomm conference and exhibition.
     Wi-Fi modems are a new class of in-home customer premise equipment
 (CPE) developed to help consumers achieve better and more reliable
 connectivity to outdoor metro Wi-Fi networks.
     The City of Hartford and OneCommunity are standardizing on the Ruckus
 MetroFlex system to give consumers predictable and longer-range Wi-Fi
 connections from inside buildings and homes, reduce Wi-Fi support calls and
 increase the adoption and user of Wi-Fi metro services.
     Despite the aggressive rollout of outdoor metro Wi-Fi services,
 reliably connecting and maintaining connection to these services indoors
 has turned out to be a big problem for both consumers and carriers. Wi-Fi
 signals weaken as users move farther away from outdoor Wi-Fi nodes or as
 Wi-Fi signals are obstructed by walls, foliage or other obstacles.
     Using Wi-Fi to Build Community in Hartford
     The City of Hartford has begun an aggressive city-wide rollout of Wi-Fi
 services across the 18-square mile city footprint. Over the next 18 months,
 Hartford plans to deploy hundreds of metro Wi-Fi nodes to serve some
 120,000 Hartford residents as well as visitors. Unlike other metro Wi-Fi
 rollouts, Hartford has provided residents with low-cost access to desktop
 computers, bundling affordable computers with free network access and
 training. For approximately $200, residents can purchase a computer and
 Wi-Fi modem and begin accessing Hartford's metro Wi-Fi service.
     "For most cities, wireless networks are networks of convenience," said
 Eric Jackson, chief information officer for the City of Hartford. "While
 addressing the digital divide has become one of the major tenants of metro
 Wi- Fi religion, we have a broader vision of using Wi-Fi to bring together
 and build better community."
     Jackson noted that to address the digital divide, access to the home is
 an imperative and that outdoor Wi-Fi network are not well suited or
 designed to penetrate indoor environments.
     "Getting into the home with wireless is a tough challenge," said
 Jackson. "We really needed a reliable conduit to connect people in the home
 and office to our Wi-Fi system. We found what we believe is the ideal
 solution with the Ruckus MetroFlex Wi-Fi modem."
     The Ruckus MetroFlex device is a long-range Wi-Fi receiver that
 mitigates interference to deliver reliable indoor connectivity to faint
 outdoor Wi-Fi signals. Through the use of patented smart antenna array
 technology, the Ruckus MetroFlex provides a three to four-fold increase in
 Wi-Fi reception. The Ruckus MetroFlex also functions as a repeater and
 Wi-Fi access point - regenerating the received Wi-Fi signal indoors.
     Jackson said that Hartford is actively pursuing the creation of content
 for young children, adults and seniors with the help of local libraries,
 schools, civic centers and other government agencies. Hartford has also
 begun developing an "e-Government" service portal to make it easier to do
 business with the city.
     "At the end of the day, content drives the use of computer networks. We
 have taken active step to get computers into the home and provide free
 network access. Using Wi-Fi to help people find others, create their own
 content, obtain access to vital services, community information and
 entertainment, is what we are striving for," concluded Jackson.
     The City of Hartford is currently offering residents free 11 Mbps
 access to their Wi-Fi network with plans to offer higher speed 54 Mbps and
 tiered services. Hartford has partnered with BT Solutions to test in-home
 connectivity and provide support services.
     OneCommunity in Cleveland
     OneCommunity, a nonprofit information-technology service company that
 connects public and nonprofit institutions throughout Cleveland and
 Northeast Ohio, is using the Ruckus MetroFlex to provide indoor
 connectivity to users of its Wi-Fi mesh network in Cleveland. The City of
 Cleveland is one of the founding partners of OneCommunity.
     In partnership with Sprint, Cisco and Case Western University,
 OneCommunity has deployed an outdoor Wi-Fi mesh network covering five
 square miles, providing free Wi-Fi access to residents, businesses and
 visitors at speeds ranging from one to 10 Mbps.
     Considering itself a "social enterprise," OneCommunity owns and
 operates over 600 miles of fiber optics throughout Cleveland, Akron, Canton
 and Youngtown, Ohio. It uses this fiber ring to provide multi-gigabit
 broadband connectivity through more than 200 nodes to hundreds of
 educational, governmental, research, arts and cultural, health care and
 civic organizations.
     "Wi-Fi is an ideal onramp to our broadband fiber network - giving us
 the ability to quickly revitalize underserved communities," said Mark
 Ansboury, chief operating officer at OneCommunity.
     Ansboury noted that keys to their decision to standardize on an in-home
 metro CPE solution were being able to ensure high service available and to
 minimize support costs. "In-home customer equipment was a critical
 component for ensuring high levels of service availability and customer
 satisfaction. The Ruckus MetroFlex system was the only real purpose-built
 solution on the leading edge of technology to solve these specific
 problems," said Ansboury.
     In a unique approach to wireless broadband services, OneCommunity not
 only provides an outdoor Wi-Fi service but also indoor wireless solutions
 to complement its broadband wireless service. The Ruckus MetroFlex gives
 OneCommunity a reliable extension of its metro Wi-Fi service throughout
 multi- tenant facilities, office buildings and residences.
     "When you think about broadband wireless, you need to consider
 everything from end-to-end. It's no longer good enough to merely turn Wi-Fi
 on outdoors and expect the world to beat a path to your door," concluded
 Ansboury. Key to OneCommunity's vision was an indoor solution that provided
 reliable and long- range connectivity to the Wi-Fi metro network.
     "From a price/performance and simplicity perspective, we found the
 Ruckus MetroFlex was unmatched, giving users reliable Wi-Fi connectivity in
 the simplest manner," said Ansboury. "The last 100 feet of connectivity is
 going to be wireless whether you like it or not. This is what users want -
 location freedom. However users are coming to expect cell-quality
 reliability over the unlicensed Wi-Fi band. This is a major problem for
 wireless providers everywhere because Wi-Fi wasn't developed as
 deterministic medium yet it is one of the most pervasive access
 technologies available to consumers."
     Media Contacts
     David Callisch
     Ruckus Wireless
     david@ruckuswireless.com
     +1-408-504-5487 mobile
 
 

SOURCE Ruckus Wireless, Inc.

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