Bookshelp header image for page World Wide Words logo

Personal telco

This is a volunteer or community application of wireless computer networks. Computer users who have a broadband Internet link can set up wireless access to it using a system such as Wi-Fi. This allows anybody within range who has a similar link to use the broadband connection without having to subscribe themselves. Access is either provided free, or on a subscription basis at a low rate compared with individual broadband costs.

Understandably, telecommunications companies (telcos) are less than keen on this development, since they are spending vast sums on setting up their own high-speed wireless infrastructure using third-generation technologies. The pejorative alternative terms parasitic grid and piranha grid for the system seem to come from that side of the argument.

While rejecting the implications of freeloading, those involved in providing the links haven’t yet settled on a name for them. Terms such as community-owned wireless network, neighborhood area network, community wireless, and open network access point have all been spotted in recent months, though personal telco currently seems to be the most popular.

Some of the more established wireless-sharing groups in the United States include the Bay Area Wireless Group, Seattle Wireless, Portland’s Personal Telco Project, NYCWireless.Net and Boston’s GuerillaNet.

Toronto Star, Oct. 2001

Share this page
Facebook Twitter StumbleUpon Google+ Email

Search World Wide Words

Support World Wide Words!

Donate via PayPal. Select your currency from the list and click Donate.


Buy from Amazon and get me a small commission at no cost to you. Select your preferred site and click Go!

OTHER WAYS TO HELP

Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 2 Feb. 2002

Advice on copyright

The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
This page URL: http://www.worldwidewords.org/turnsofphrase/tp-per2.htm
Last modified: 2 February 2002.