Thursday, June 03, 2004

Start your own phone company?

Cringely has written a nice rant about the Linksys WRT54G. This is a very neat bit of technology, but what is really interesting is what could be done with it. It is very cheap, runs Linux and can be upgraded with custom software so that it can do many tasks the manufacturers didn't anticipate (or choose to highlight). Cringely suggests franchises could be sold in a distributed, wireless phone company and ISP. The franchise would consist of an internet connection and a wireless router or two. The franchisee would then sign up users in their area for internet and VoIP (phone) access. The franchisees would be connected to each other in a big "mesh" that would dynamically adapt to the demand and be extremely cheap to roll-out. Bye, bye Telstra...

Update: There seems to have been quite a bit of interest in Cringely's article, and he has a followup.

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