2502 West Colorado Ave., Suite 203 · Colorado Springs, CO 80904 ·
Voice 719.636.2040 · Fax 719.528.5869 ·Wireless Web http://wireless.oldcolo.com
Scope of Tests
Rural: Monte Vista School District, Monte Vista, Colorado. This school is approximately 15 miles from Alamosa, across flat terrain. It can be reached by two FCC Part 15 certified spread spectrum radios carrying data from 115 to 164KBS, without relay.
This school has committed to participate in both science classrooms with a limited number of multi-media computers, and at close by field-test (River Watch) locations where data sensing and radio broadcast can be implemented as part of routine educational activities. There are also expected to be a number of off-school premises students in remote-education programs, who will be connected. The test here will be in a point to point wireless link to the net, with further wireless links to a server in field science modes.
Center School District, Center, Colorado. This school is 24 miles from Alamosa, which cannot be reached by 1 watt available systems at speeds above 56kbs. It will be be reached by three radios, one a relay, exercising this routinely used mode to extend radio ranges for data.
This school, which is installing $300,000 in new technolgical classroom equipment, will participate by configuring to our test specifications, a complete LAN classroom (26 machines) running over Novell networks and NT servers. Which will be linked to an OS2 server, and reach the network via the wireless link.
The school also has limited experience with 5 portable wireless modems, through walls, to the OS2 server (which currently only operates via a low speed (14.4) SLIP connection. These will be incorporated into the test.
This school will also support the 'extension' of its wireless link to the net, to both a Collaborative Rural Extention (Federal, County, Colorado State University) Research Station 3.25 miles away, and to Felmlee Farms, 2 miles away, where 'home schooled' children are schooled on modern computers, which however, are not adequately connected to the net.
Colorado State University Research Station, Center, Colorado. This station, with agricultural researchers, and farmer support personnel, and a small automated weather station in the valley that supplies data, is committed to participate by linking Center School District CSU teachers conducting agricultural school programs, to CSU's remote (Ft Collins) data bases. And to exchange useful data and educational support from the Research Center's Agronomist and the center's workstations. In addition, they are willing to link free-standing, solar powered weather devices wireless to the net, to compare it with the current, and costly, commercial, low speed, analog cellular phone method of getting data by digitized voice. This center also supports summer field work by CSU graduate students. There may be an opportunity, in Phase 3, to test wireless battery powered modems attached to field computers, for such higher-educational program purposes. This will be optional, and depend on the practical success of earlier tests.
Felmlee Farms is a one-family potato farm - the dominant crop of the valley - whose owners use Windows and OS2 computers and cellular phones to both manage their farm, and help educate their children. Home schoolers from nearby farms come to use the advanced computers, the CDROM materials, and the limited dial-up SLIP connection to the Internet. Debbie Felmlee, with a degree in computer science, is fully qualified to conduct and observe the behavior and utility of a higher speed wireless link to the Center School node, from the home. They have committed to conduct tests of this 'to the home' link for educational purposes in the rural valley.
Centennial School District, San Luis, Colorado. This small school district is in the southern part of the Valley, and is adjacent to a very large - Sangre de Cristo - mountain range. It is 30 miles from Alamosa, but masked by some hills from it. However this location permits the testing of a sustained 'two hop' (two relay stations) wireless link to the POP in Alamosa from the school. The relay stations will have to be solar rechargable, battery powered, with weatherproofing to stand the extremes of temperature and snow.
The school has committed to participating in the test in two ways - the routine classroom setting, and in the exercise of $25,000 of video, sound, 'distance learning' equipment it acquired, but has been unable to use over voice grade telephone lines. This will test the real limits of an extended, relayed, link to the high-bandwidth demanding audio and video equipment.
Urban: Colorado Springs large School District 11, and its Mitchell High School (1,400 students) is committed to test an effort to achieve a 3-4 mile range 2mb wireless TCP/IP link into the school, which is being equipped with a complete set of LAN linked computers - 6 to a classroom, and a multi-media center with 30 new Mac Powerbooks, and 10 Pentium Intel machines, with associated multi media equipment.
The presence of latest generation Macs and PCs will permit the exercise of multi-media modes, and software, imaging (such as Quicktime, I-phone, CuSeeme) over higher speed wireless links than are possible (short of prohibitive-cost large microwave installations) in long distance rural areas.
It will also be able to give fair test of beta stage Ethernet-connected wireless systems being developed by Apple, which has committed to support the tests.
Old Colorado City Communications will support the linking of a T1 line directly from a local Internet provider (there are 4 choices - MCI, Sprint, Colorado Supernet, and Rocky Mountain Internet) in Colorado Springs to a BSD Unix system on OCCS premises, which can track in software and in measured-data tests, throughput of the 2MB wireless from it to the School server.
Pikes Peak Library District, the first library in the US to permit outside, dial-up, patron access, (1980), and is linked via the CARL Library network to school, public, and research libraries, up to the Gopher search systems, is committed to test 'wireless lan' equipment appropriate to be used by library patrons, and which can access graphical collections (such as digitized photographs), which cannot currently be seen, both from bandwidth and character-graphic terminal stanpoints. The library is installing a Novell network of Intel based PCs, which will be linked internally to the Internet and CARL, by the commencement of this Project. This will permit the Project to test, in head-to-head (ethernet wired and wireless lan) nets of the lastest workstation equipment, througputs, robustness, and high-electromagnetic local environments, wireless lan devices.
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