Getting the FatPoint
July 18, 2002
FatPort is offering a new hardware line to get public access hotspots up and running fast, with almost zero configuration.
FatPort Corporation of Vancouver, British Columbia, has released a family of wireless public access products built to get venue owners up and running with a hotspot in a minimal amount of time.
The products include:
FatPoint Complete, a $200 (Canadian) per month service that includes not only the hardware but also the broadband connection needed to run it, provided by FatPort. This version is only available for Canadian customers.
The FatPoint Express is a flat $525 (US) plus requires a 50/50 revenue split between the venue owner and FatPoint. All the venue owner needs to provide is the broadband cable or DSL connection.Claudia Ng, Director of Operations and Technical Support, describes the typical setup and operation: "We send the box along with marketing material... once they have broadband, they plug it into he [FatPoint] box, let it boot and in three minutes an end user can get a FatPoint login screen. User can have DHCP or static IP, it won't matter. We use Reverse NAT to map the IP address to the gateway."
The Express and Complete versions ship with FatPoint software installed. Customers can get customized login screens by working directly with FatPort, but self customization on those boxes isn't possible.
WISPs or companies interested in completely customizing the product can get the FatPoint OEM version (also $525 US). It's the same as the Express without the FatPoint software. Instead it runs OpenBSD on a 32MB Compact Flash card that is easily replaced with customized software.
FatPort is a member of the non-profit Pass-One WISP association that hopes to set a wireless roaming standard.
Eric Griffith is the managing editor of 802.11 Planet.