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Wireless Commons Perils in the Common Good

In the last few years, high-speed wireless access to the Internet has grown rapidly. Surprisingly, this growth has not come through cellular phone networks as many had expected, but through IEEE 802.11 standards-based wireless local area networks (WLANs). This rise of WLANs can be partly linked to the creation of a series of open standards, a precipitous fall in the costs of related hardware, and the explosive growth of home networking. WLANs have become commonplace in the education, transportation, and manufacturing sectors and are rapidly embraced in the retail, hospitality, and government sectors.

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