Companies to provide city-wide wireless Internet access by turning private homes into public Wi-Fi hotspots

Alcatel-Lucent, and the Dutch cable operator Ziggo are conducting a trial of an innovative technique to turn private homes into public Wi-Fi hotspots in order to provide wireless broadband access to Ziggo's customers.

Householders in the city of Groningen, in the northeast of the Netherlands, are participating in the largest European community trial of cable-based Wi-Fi hotspots. The trial is using Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio Wi-Fi technology to give multiple Ziggo subscribers simultaneous access to high-quality –- without impairing either the existing service quality or impacting the security of existing home WiFi networks.

Following the successful first phase of the trial in four districts of the city of Groningen, the service is being opened up to 18,000 homes in November, making it the largest and most dense hotspot network in the Netherlands. For Ziggo's customers, a secure wireless broadband connection is vital to allow them to access on the move, whenever they want them and using the device most suited to them.

Leveraging the groundbreaking lightRadio Wi-Fi technology, Alcatel-Lucent is enabling Ziggo to give their customers access to a wide variety of Wi-Fi hotspots without the need to remember complicated authentication passwords. These hotspots, located in people's residences, provide multiple subscribers with access to secure high-bandwidth video and other Internet services at any one time using a single simple login. Ziggo's customers taking part in the trial must give permission for their home modem router to be used as a hotspot, before they can access other subscribers' hotspots

Heleen Elferink, Director Network & Systems Development of Ziggo said: "We are confident that the community Wi-Fi service we have built with Alcatel-Lucent is the first great step toward extending our services to customers outside their homes in a simple, reliable and secure way. The trial has already demonstrated that even with multiple subscribers accessing the Wi-Fi connection at the same time, speeds and quality are not compromised."

Paul Wijngaard, Account Director at Alcatel-Lucent said: "Alcatel-Lucent has deep-rooted expertise in delivering novel communications solutions to meet the needs of operators across the globe. By working closely with Ziggo we have been able to develop our lightRadio Wi-Fi technology further to offer a complete Wi-Fi access solution available today. This trial is a great way to show people the benefits of sharing secure Wi-Fi hotspots, and we hope to have set the standard for community Wi-Fi projects."

Alcatel-Lucent's solution for Ziggo

As part of the trial, - is providing Wireless LAN gateway functionality within its 7750 Service Routers as well as authentication, authorization and accounting (AAA) server functionality without need tochange the cable networkto allow the simple single login procedure.

The technical specifications of the trial comply fully with the requirements for an end-to-end Wi-Fi gateway solution, supporting new services in a 's network, as described in the Cable Europe Labs' Technical Report "Cable Wi-Fi Services (CEL-TR-WIFI -V1.0)". This provides support for community-based Wi-FI as well as other Wi-Fi services.

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User comments

Oct 24, 2012
We need to do something like this in the U.S. First we would have to update the ridiculous laws that hold access point owners responsible for anything illegal that anyone does using that access point. As the laws are currently, if I'm a nice guy and allow the public to access a portion of my bandwidth and some guy downloads child porn, I could go to prison for it.

After the laws are updated, router manufacturers could provide a private access point and a public access point in every router. The wireless router owner could securely allow the public limited access to a portion of his or her available bandwidth.

We could have city-wide free internet in no time as long as internet access owners are willing to share. Unfortunately, ISPs probably wouldn't allow this because they are selfish money-grubbing bastards.

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