Calif. city gets free Wi-Fi via high tech meters

Mar 27, 2013 by Martha Mendoza

The city of Santa Clara is flipping on a big Internet switch this week, becoming what it says is the first in the country to use wireless, digital "smart meters" on homes as channels for free citywide outdoor Wi-Fi.

Power is replacing Santa Clara's electric meters to eliminate door-by-door meter readers. The new meters send electricity and water usage reports via wireless network, but also have an unusual separate channel that provides free, outdoor Internet.

Many communities already have pockets or limited free Wi-Fi, often provided by or centered around public hotspots like parks, hospitals or libraries.

Sascha Meinrath, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Open Technology Institute, said using meters as Internet channels is "really smart" but warned that strong privacy protections must be installed as well.

Explore further: Studying the speed of multi-hop Bluetooth networks

4 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Verizon gives free Wi-Fi to Internet customers

Jul 27, 2009

(AP) -- Verizon is giving some of its home broadband customers free access to thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots in airports and other public places, taking a page from competitors that already offer wireless Internet access.

Google, Boingo offer New York free summer Wi-Fi

Jun 25, 2012

Google and wireless Internet group Boingo said Monday they would offer free Wi-Fi access over the summer months in many parts of New York City, including some busy subway stations.

British town to offer free wi-fi to all residents

Nov 17, 2009

Swindon has become the first place in Britain to offer free wireless Internet access to all its 186,000 residents, in what is thought to be the first such scheme, officials said on Tuesday.

Recommended for you

End to end 5G for super, superfast mobile

Nov 24, 2014

A collaboration between NEC Electronics Samsung and several academic centres in China and Iran, is investigating how software-defined cellular networking might be used to give smart phone users the next generation of super-superfast ...

German study supports free "Super WiFi"

Nov 24, 2014

The need for the wireless transfer of data will increase significantly in the coming years. Scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) therefore propose to turn some of the TV frequencies that ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.