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Burning Man vets use mobile-hot spot tech in Katrina region

 Colleague Daniel Terdiman writes today about an effort by Tom Price and around 20 other veterans of the yearly Burning Man outdoor festival to bring order to another, far more serious type of chaos set in the outdoors.That would be to bring order to the still massive communications needs in communities recovering from Hurricane Katrina.
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Written by Russell Shaw on
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Colleague Daniel Terdiman writes today about an effort by Tom Price and around 20 other veterans of the yearly Burning Man outdoor festival to bring order to another, far more serious type of chaos set in the outdoors.

That would be to bring order to the still massive communications needs in communities recovering from Hurricane Katrina.

Known as Burners Without Borders, Price's group using new Kyocera mobile hot-spot technology to create a wide-area-network in an area with hardly any Internet access.  

Their network has been built with $250 Kyocera KR1 Mobile Routers (which I've Photoshopped on to an image of Burners Without Borders' on-scene setup in a Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast Locale) and $150 wireless PC Air cards.

The router takes PC Air cards--which allow a single user to get broadband access anywhere there's cell phone coverage--and then broadcasts a high-speed signal that can be accessed by multiple users.

"We have Web designers and database managers and writers attempting to be in two places at once," Price tells Terdiman. "Before we got wired up, that meant driving (20 minutes) into town and parking outside a Best Western that had Wi-Fi and trying to jam out a few e-mail messages." 

But now, thanks to  situation has largely been resolved.

Price says he hopes this technology can be used in other relief efforts.  

I hope so too- but I hope even more that we won't be seeing a disaster of this scope for quite some time to come. 

 

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