I’ve always dug the idea of Ricochet, which seemed like science fiction when I first heard about it years ago. As much as I like Wi-Fi, I’d prefer slightly-slower high-speed city-wide wireless WANs to “hot spots”, although a roamable combination of both would clearly be best.
Aerie Networks, which bought Ricochet’s assets, is in the process of lighting up the network again in Denver and San Diego.
Part of the challenge lies in logistics. Ricochet technicians have to systematically switch on the shoe box-sized repeaters that hang from thousands of street lights — some 3,200 in the San Diego area alone. First, the company must broker agreements with the cities and towns that own the light poles. Ricochet hopes cities will provide free access in exchange for allowing police officers to have access to the network wherever their patrol cars roam.
As much as I like the idea of Ricochet, it’s impossible for me to justify at $45/month. (Thanks, Kevin!)