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Santa Clara launches free outdoor Wi-Fi on backs of smart meters

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Residents of Santa Clara, Calif. not only have a new smart meter program but free outdoor Wi-Fi to boot. The city’s non-profit electric municipal utility, Silicon Valley Power (SVP), is taking advantage of connected electric meters by integrating support for a second public unencrypted Wi-Fi channel, allowing the city to blanket the airwaves with free Wi-Fi.

santaclara-wifiSVP expects to support around 5,000 daily connections on the new public network, which has an SSID, or network name, of “SVPMeterConnectWiFi.” There’s no login, no password, nor credentials of any kind needed to use the outdoor wireless network. Utility data from the meters will be sent securely, however.

While the new network should add convenience around town, residents shouldn’t expect super high speeds: SVP says the connections will top out around 1 Mbps, which is slightly slower than 3G mobile broadband speeds. But for occasional use to check email, social networks and other light usage, those speeds should be more than sufficient; plus, you can’t beat the price!

10 Responses to “Santa Clara launches free outdoor Wi-Fi on backs of smart meters”

  1. SmartMeterDangers

    Apparently all the planners of this free wifi using smart meters, as well as the general public there, have no idea that the RF radiation emitted, that you are now living in like a lethal soup, is dangerous to your health. So says the World Health Organization and a vast number of independent researchers and physicians who are familiar with RF radiation and health.
    Go to to learn more. For state of the science info go to for a short summary of the findings on this type of radiation exposure, based on 1800 new studies. The scientists found immunological, coronary, and neurological damage, as well as reproductive damage.

    Smart meters and wi-fi are a terrible combination. Especially forced on everyone. Engineers who designed these systems didn’t check the current research.

    Citizens of Santa Clara, make your city STOP this program immediately. Or you may pay the price with your life and your health.

  2. air-gapping doesn’t work with wireless since it utilizes the ether in the air to transmit it’s signal. I believe the article refernce 1.5Mb not 1.5MB that would equate to 12Mb . 1.5Mbps should work but latency my cause issues

  3. I have1.5Mb/500Kb rural fixed wifi, and no it isn’t enough for VoIP. Even internet radio stumbles frequently if I’m browsing. But I have to wonder what happens when the MAFIAA complains about bittorrent users? And they will. Seems to me this sort of network should be air-gapped anyway. I bet it will soon have some severe port blocking.

  4. Maud Crossing

    The idea of further saturating the community with yet another layer of EMR and the increasing indiscriminate use of wireless technology terrifies those who have detailed knowledge of the adverse biological harm that microwaves are doing to the population.
    Smart meter lunacy could well prove to be the health curse of the 21st century.

  5. i wonder if the quality is good enough to handle VOIP, if free metro wifi ever becomes commonplace i certainly see a certain number of people using non-activated smartphones with VOIP clients as ‘free cell phones’ and/or perhaps marrying free wifi usage with pay per minute prepaid service as a backup when no wifi is available.

    this would not be about having reliable service or any carrier support just about the absolute rock bottom price.