Wireless Internet Access

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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In the last two years there has been a huge increase in the number of businesses and students (as well as individuals) using the technology of wireless internet access. The business applications are almost obvious. Wireless access supports virtually instantaneous communication from just about anywhere in the world where there is a radio transmitter to carry the signal.

How It Works

Instead of using any kind of land line, such as coaxial cable, wireless communication uses radio technology. What has to happen is that there is a radio link from the customer's computer to the service provider. In the recent past, as with all radio transmissions, line of sight was an issue which required that the receivers were high enough above surrounding buildings or natural formations to allow the signal to travel in a relatively straight line.

Today, many public buildings and businesses, such as coffee shops, are installing the appropriate dishes on their roofs so that users can access the Internet at will. It is not unusual in a college town to see several dozen students enjoying their designer coffee and working on their theses. Newer technology is exploring and advancing the use of wireless radio that does not require line of sight access, and this development is rapidly changing the face of Internet access options.

Today you can even access the Internet from cell phones equipped to do so. In many cases, new wireless Internet access technologies use satellite transmissions as a means of providing that access even in remote locations. While there are still areas that are not served by radio towers and, thereby, are "dead" zones for both cellular and wireless Internet connections, major communications companies are constantly working to eliminate or minimize those "dead" areas.

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