The 5-mile WiFi Bridge That Costs Pennies


Did I say pennies? What I meant was twenties. Yeah. Sorry about that.

But all humor aside, I am a bit ticked off about something here. I hail originally from Philadelphia and it will always be my home to an extent. About 3 years ago, I had a photo taken of me by an AP reporter. He explained that it was for a story he was doing on a new wireless Internet initiative going on in Philadelphia. I would later find out it was part of the now-defunct Wireless Philadelphia project.

It turns out that part of the reasoning behind the project”s failure was concerns about cost and being able to broadcast an 802.11b/g signal across the entire city. Understandable, right? Seems like a genuine concern.

What a crock of bullshit. HD Communications apparently announced a 5-mile WiFi bridge, the HD26200, for the insanely low cost of $318 a box. It comes with integrated antennas and can bridge both 802.11b and g networks. Oh and get this shit: it’s powered via a fucking CAT-5 cable. That’s right. You don’t even need an external power supply. Plug it in and it’s broadcasting your WiFi connection all around the city.

So this $318 “miracle bridge” is available now. Why isn’t Philadelphia picking up like, 20 of these and making their network a reality? What is the issue here? What city planner fucked up big time? These are the things I’d love to know. All I know is that Philadelphia got screwed over and no one is doing anything about it.

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About Mohit


  1. Yo Quiero Taco Phone

    It’s not omnidirectional, dumbass, it’s point to point.

  2. Care to point out where I claim it’s “omnidirectional”?

  3. Your post only makes sense if you’re assuming it’s an omni.
    As these are uni — they connect one point to another and come as a pair– they are completely useless for mesh-style networks intended to provide blanket coverage. According to the source, this set actually requires LoS between the two tranceivers. Did you read it? No, you did not.

  4. The point that I’m trying to get across is that Philadelphia has no wireless solution now. Getting a few of these and running them up and down Broad St. could easily provide a good chunk of Center City and at least three schools (UArts, Temple and a high school for the arts) with a solid wireless connection.

    Don’t hate

  5. Yea, but this are BRIDGES, not Routers. They can only connect to eachother, and not any computer or router. They offer no IP address resolution or routing of signals. It’s like taking one cat-5 cable and making it invisible for 5 miles. The bridge even requires that they have direct line of sight. If Philly got these, all it would do was provide a bunch of extra lengths of wire.

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