Wi-Fi (802.11), or wireless communications allows an individual using a Wi-Fi equipped personal computer, laptop, or PDA to be connected with the Internet. Imagine checking your e-mail just before that important meeting for the latest sales numbers or price quotes. Imagine checking your calendar in the client's office to see when you are available to follow up. Wi-Fi makes this possible.
Wi-Fi in Fredericton is the result of an extension to the fiber network that the City developed in 1999. Addressing issues such as high cost of Internet, necessity of communicating across a dispersed organization, and effectively sharing information and files led to the formation of a City owned company known as e-Novations that would build and manage a fiber network. The more than 15 miles of fiber deployed by e-Novations served not only the City, but also some small businesses in Fredericton, some of which were connected to the fiber backbone by point to point wireless links built using Motorola Canopy.
With a fiber backbone and Canopy network already in place, Cisco Systems Inc. provided the final component for rolling out the free wireless networking that would be known as Fred-eZone. Cisco, the world leader in network solutions, provided the 802.11g access points. There are currently over 100 access points in place, some of which connect directly to the fiber network, but the majority of which are backhauled using Canopy.
March 12, 2005: Daily Gleaner - Fredericton's IT reputation growing fast
February 28, 2005: Toronto Star - Let towns, cities provide cheap, everywhere broadband
November 5, 2004: Intel - Building a Smart City Through Wireless Technology
June 3, 2004: Globe and Mail - Fredericton a hotbed for connectivity
May 14, 2004: Wi-Fi Planet - Installing the E-Zone
November 18, 2003: ITBusiness.ca - Fredericton to furnish residents with free Wi-Fi