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Wireless Metropolis

The Big Apple's wireless backup project aims to keep the city online, no matter what.

This story appears in the October 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Lower Manhattan is one of the most wired places on the planet, but it came unwired in the 9/11 attack. Now, the state of New York is planning an inexpensive wireless backup system that will keep data flowing through the city, come what may-a boon to small and midsize firms, and a move that's sure to be watched by other major cities.

The project will tap advances in wireless communication technology, explains Andrew Flamm, assistant vice president for economic development at the Alliance for Downtown New York, a nonprofit association working to create a wired community in New York City. About half a dozen wireless hubs will be set up on the roofs of the area's tallest buildings. Each company (or all the tenants in a building, if the landlord offers this as a service) will connect wirelessly to one or more of these hubs. The hubs in turn will establish high-speed links with two major Internet access centers, at least one of which is outside of Manhattan.

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