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I’m fed up with how things are with radio – at least with amateur radio (which I enjoy thoroughly) you can do something about these problems.

Sitting here in the local library and using their wireless, my system is re-negotiating about once a minute (there it goes!) which means that any web pages stall or die half-way through, and Firefox may lock up entirely until the network either returns or fails outright.

Another (larger) library nearby provides the same service without the constant reconnection to a new wireless access point – although that library has poor reception in various areas; better take that laptop on a ride through the library to get the best reception. Some sections of that library have no reception at all (like the children’s section).

Yet another (but very small) library has excellent wireless – presumably because they have only one access point which blankets the entire library (I said it was small).

None of this talk of wifi talks about the speed: 11Mb/s is a theoretical maximum for 802.11b which was surpassed in the 1980s by 10BaseT (which is now obsolete).

Mobile phone response is no better. From my house, I can see the phone tower – though it is not overhead, but a half-mile away or so. Even so, I can’t get a connection, every phone call is a mash of incomprehensible clips, and the cellular internet comes and goes (but mostly goes, dropping off or not allowing connections at all).

This cellular reception is from a company that provides blanket service across the upper midwestern United States.

When will wifi and mobile phone carriers provide strong, constant access without dead spots, and with reasonable speeds?

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