January 13, 2008 By Jessica Jones
Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, better known as WiMAX (IEEE 802.16) is a standards-based technology that delivers "last-mile" wireless broadband access - or wireless connectivity to rural locations, according to the WiMAX Forum.
WiMAX is an alternative to wired broadband, such as DSL and cable modem, and according to the forum, "provides fixed, nomadic, portable and, soon, mobile wireless broadband connectivity without the need for direct line-of-sight with a base station."
Compared to the more prevalent Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11), whose coverage maxes out around 300 feet, WiMAX will, in theory, transmit a high-speed signal for 30 miles in every direction from a fixed station. Mobile stations will transmit three miles to 10 miles out.Put simply, Wi-Fi is a standard for local area networks, while WiMAX is a standard for metropolitan area networks.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.