Intel deploys WiMax in Katrina disaster zone

WiMax backer Intel has boosted communications in the area devastated by hurricane Katrina by shipping WiMax and Wi-Fi equipment to relief agencies.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  September 12, 2005

WiMax backer Intel has shipped equipment to a decommissioned San Antonio air base where thousands of evacuees are being sheltered following the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina. The firm will also ship WiMax and Wi-Fi gear to other affected areas as part of the government coordinated relief effort. The gear will bring internet access to remote areas where the existing infrastructure has been destroyed or never existed. The network will also be used for internet telephone services and information exchange. A group of wireless internet providers called Part-15.org is working with the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to deploy Wi-Fi hotspots at the shelter and areas hit by the storm. But those hotspots need to connect to the wider internet to be most useful and that's where WiMax comes into play, said Nigel Ballard, a manager at Intel’s state and local government unit. The WiMax equipment will be able to handle carry signals about 15 miles to what's known as a Point of Presence on the Internet. The bandwidth both upstream and downstream is expected to be about 45 Mbits, 30 times the speed of a fast 1.5Mbits DSL connection.

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