I am in rural NJ (no DSL, Cable and 14.4 is fast for us) and have three or four neighbors interested in joining me in a Wi-Fi/MAN network. Where to start? Do I need permission or a license? What hardware do you recommend? Any examples to learn from? Any and all comments are welcomed. Thanks
If you choose a solution that uses unlicensed spectrum (like Wi-Fi in the 2.4 or 5 GHz bands), then you do not need permission or a license. That's precisely how these bands are supposed to be used. Some other fixed broadband wireless access solutions do operate in licensed spectrum, so steer clear of those.
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What kind of hardware to use depends upon factors like the distance between your homes, RF-absorbing obstacles in between you (like trees), and whether you can position outdoor antennas for line-of-sight transmission between your homes. I suggest that you read about wireless outdoor routers to get a sense of what these products offer and the questions you'll need to ask. Here are just a few URLs to get you started:
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