Date: August 3, 2005
Scott Shamp, Director, New Media Institute, Grady College, University of Georgia & Aaron Baer, Treasurer, PTP —

The basic utilities of water, electricity, gas and telephone are about to welcome a new sibling: Wireless broadband Internet. And many technosavvy road warriors already depend on such access. We welcome experts Scott Shamp of Athens, Georgia, and Nigel Ballard of Portland, who are making wireless access available to citizens in their cities.

WAGz: The Wireless Athens Georgia Zone
In 2002, the New Media Institute created the Wireless Athens Georgia Zone (the WAGz)—a cloud of WiFi connectivity over downtown Athens, GA. Although it was one of the first municipal wireless implementations in the country, the technology wasn’t really the point. Instead, the WAGz was created to explore how powerful new mobile media technologies can enhance the experience of being in Athens. Scott Shamp will describe how the WAGz provides an interface to important information about Athens for businesses, residents, government, and visitors. This presentation will detail the lessons learned from this initiative.

About the speaker
Dr.Shamp is the Director of the New Media Institute at the University of Georgia. The New Media Institute is an interdisciplinary unit created to explore the creative, critical, and commercial implications of new digital communication technology. As the Director of the New Media Institute, Scott is helping students carve out careers in the rapidly evolving field of new media and helping companies map out strategies for success using new communication technologies. Currently Scott heads the Mobile Media Consortium ( at the University of Georgia. This industry/academic partnership is dedicated to promoting mobile media and wireless development.

PTP: Portland’s Personal Telco Project
Portland’s Personal Telco Project (PTP) has the momentum and the initiative to continue to grow as a volunteer organization that makes a difference in Portland. Aaron Baer will describe how, over the next two years, it can grow beyond being an organization of geeks building networks to become an organization with volunteers and participants from every part of the Portland community and to help everyone take part in building public wireless networks.

About the speaker
Aaron Baer graduated from PSU with a degree in Computer Science and works as a Business Systems Analyst out at Mentor Graphics. Aaron’s involvement with the Personal Telco Project, a volunteer-run organization, dates back to early 2001 and he has been the project’s Treasurer since late 2001. In addition to a wide array of job responsibilities, Baer spends time working with Linux and other Open Source software and enjoys mountain biking.

Presentation Files
Download program slides (3.8 MB .zip)