Monday, November 14, 2005

Re: Google's WiFi proposal

[This message to which I am replaying was initially sent to members of the city council, city staffers, and the local mailing list. My reply went to them as well.]
[post updated with full name]
Hal Mounce wrote:

Hi Hal,

> I have a number of concerns, and have found some information I believe is useful.
>
> Before I get into things let me just say that I am very much FOR the
> Google proposal, and want the city to enter into agreements with Google
> without further council approvals. I trust the city manager and city
> attorney to manage the details and get the best deal they can for us.

Thank you for putting these concerns forward in a more effective manner than I did. At this point, I too would agree that it is in the best interest of the city to enter into this agreement, but that our council members and city staff should be cognizant of these issues as the finalize the agreement.

Thanks,
Todd

>
> My[Hal's] concerns:
>
> 1) Google indicates a requirement for each user of the service to establish an account with Google. As far as I can tell, this is not a technology based requirement.
>
> 2) What prevents Google from snooping around in the data traffic? I would prefer to limit them to eavesdrop on our network interactions only to the extent necessary to operate the network. For example, I don't want information collected from my use of the network to be used to tailor advertising campaigns.
>
> 3) What prevents Google from mining data from my computer, perhaps through communication with their Google Toolbar software? I am reminded of a nasty invasion of privacy by Prodigy a decade or so ago, where they were (perhaps inadvertently) uploading private data form their subscriber's computers.
>
> 4) Will a citywide deployment of WiFi tranceivers by Google effectively preclude other organizations from similar deployments? I'm not so much concerned about the economic disincentives for other service providers as I am concerned about the chunk of the RF spectrum that Google will occupy. There are only so many channels available in the 2.4GHz space.
>
> 5) What about interference with other devices in the spectrum Google will be using? Are there likely to be problems with baby monitors? Cordless phone transmissions? Existing WiFi installations? 2.4GHz ZigBee installations?
>
> 6) Will our health be affected? I suspect most of my internal systems run below 75Hz, but what about bursts of radio frequency at rates close to those that I'm running at? What happens if we set one of these transceivers up in the parking lot over at El Camino Hospital?
>
> 7) How will we handle upgrades? I suspect the system will be largely obsolete in just a few years. Who would pay for a technology refresh? Would we be locked into a (then) low tech infrastructure which inhibits citywide deployment of more advanced technology? Currently, I can refresh the technology in my own home easily enough, but at $4K a pop, can the city afford to hot up 100 trancievers every 5 years?
>
> 8) Are there areas of the city without cobra head street lights? Can one of these things be strapped to a lamp post in Old Mountain View?
>
> 9) Once deployed, could Google sell off their mountain view network? I'd hate for Clear Channel to grab us by our 802.11s.
>
> I'd like city staff to call other cities with similar deployments to see what issues they wish they had known about up front. I'd also like for the city attorney to try and get some of those covenant things to covers the privacy issues, and to add language to force a new contract, should Google want to sell its network to some other outfit.
>
> I'd like to enter enter into an agreement with Google even if we can't get a deal which addresses the concerns I've mentioned. This is a good thing, and we shouldn't pass up this opportunity. But we should at least know what we're getting into.
>
> I have a work commitment Tuesday night, but hope other neighbors are there to raise some of these concerns at the council meeting.
>
>
> I found useful background information in these documents:
>
> DoD Electromagnetic Spectrum
> http://www.jsc.mil/images/speccht.jpg
>
> NTIA US Frequency Allocations
> http://www.ntia.doc.gov/osmhome/allochrt.pdf
>
> FCC Radio Frequency Safety FAQ
> http://www.fcc.gov/oet/rfsafety/rf-faqs.html
>
> FCC Questions and Answers about Biological Effects and Potential Hazards of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields
> http://www.fcc.gov/oet/info/documents/bulletins/#56
>
> FCC A Local Government Official’s Guide to Transmitting Antenna RF Emission Safety: Rules, Procedures, and Practical Guidance
> http://www.fcc.gov/wtb/siting/FCC_LSGAC_RF_Guide.pdf
>
> Wikipedia IEEE 802.11
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11
>
> Tropos MetroMesh Architecture
> http://www.tropos.com/pdf/tropos_metro-scale.pdf
>
> IEEE Radiofrequency Interference with Medical Devices
> http://www.ewh.ieee.org/soc/embs/comar/interfer.htm

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home