free networks

Free Networks Italy - Ninux Day 2013 Call For Papers

The Ninux Day (the only day that lasts a weekend), organized by the wireless community network ninux.org, will be held on November 1,2,3, 2013 at Fusolab 2.0, in Rome.

The aim is to gather under the same roof members of Italian and European wireless community networks and all who are interested in:
 * the Net as a common
 * spontaneous networking, bottom-up
 * city networks
 * wireless mesh networks
 * routing protocols
 * networking-oriented operating systems
 * distributed management and monitoring
 * distributed and decentralized services
 * resilient networks
 * community automanagement
 * legal aspects of community networks and wireless networks
 * artistic expressions linked to community networks or wireless networks

If you want to propose a talk or a practical workshop on these topics, of the maximum length of 45 minutes, send an e-mail to
ninux-day-it@ninux.org with a 50-100 words abstract and a short bio before October 2, 2013.

When: November 1,2,3 2013
Where: Fusolab 2.0, Via della bella villa 94, Roma, Italy
Wiki: http://wiki.ninux.org/NinuxDay2013
Mailing list: http://ml.ninux.org/mailman/listinfo/ninux-day (en)
Blog: http://blog.ninux.org
Node Map: http://map.ninux.org
Ninux Day 2009: http://blog.ninux.org/tag/ninux-day/
Fee: free entrance, donations are welcome

[via Clauz]

Freifunk-Workshop auf der FrOScon am 26. August 2012

Auf der diesjährigen FrOSCon (25./26. August) gibt es wieder einen Freifunk-Workshop. Anders als auf der Sigint 2012 haben wir nun mehr Zeit und Platz zum Diskutieren, basteln und coden. Im Fokus des Workshops steht neben der Vorstellung der Software & Hardware des Freifunk-KBU Netzes insbesondere der Erfahrungsaustausch zwischen Freifunkern: Stellt Eure Netz-Architektur, Firmware und Software vor. Natürlich sind Freifunk-Interessierte ebenfalls eingeladen zum Reinhören, Diskutieren und Mitmachen.

Ort: Raum C130 / Fedora
Zeit: 26. August 2012, 14:00 Uhr
Infos: http://programm.froscon.de/2012/events/1108.html

FrOScon

Die FrOSCon (Free and Open Source Software Conference) ist eine jährlich stattfindende Konferenz an der Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in Sankt Augustin. Ausgerichtet durch den FrOSCon e.V. bietet die FrOSCon regelmäßig ein spannendes Programm mit Vorträgen und Workshops für BesucherInnen aller Altersklassen, die freie Software einfach nutzen, kennenlernen wollen oder schon selbst entwickeln.

Ort der Veranstaltung

Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, Grantham-Allee 20, 53757 Sankt Augustin
Maps: OpenStreet Map | Google Maps

Links

Freifunk Köln, Bonn und Umgebung http://kbu.freifunk.net
FrOScon http://www.froscon.de

[via Jan Lühr]

Freifunk in Afghanistan deployed in five cities

I had the chance to work for a couple of months with my friend Mike Dawson last year in Afghanistan. He is the core person behind the OLPC project in Afghanistan and pushes for Free and Open Technologies in Afghanistan. Solutions like LXDE with it focus on a lightweight and energy saving desktop or decentralised low powered networks like Freifunk offer new opportunities to give people access even in remote areas.

As part of the OLPC project Freifunk networks were already deployed in five Afghan cities including Jalalabad and Kandahar. Regularly updated local servers - easy to administer small netbooks - in the local networks give people access to copies of many local news resources, Wikipedia and thousands of educational books.

I regularly receive news from Mike and I would like to share them with you.

We've successfully tested here in Afghanistan using Freifunk to mesh routers between classrooms so that we can avoid the need for doing ethernet cabling in the school.  Now with the 802.11n hardware out there that supports dual band MIMO 2.4GHZ and 5GHZ I'm hoping that we can achieve a wireless backbone performance equal or better to cabled.

Some Freifunkers out in Italy managed to get 80Mbps over a 4KM link even:

http://74.125.153.132/search?q=cache:Ul-NcC60_tYJ:global.freifunk.net/%3Fq%3Ditem/open_source_802_11n_big_breakthroughs_are_coming+freifunk+802.11n&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk

As far as I can tell 100Mbps (hopefully we can achieve 200-300) should be a reasonable throughput for the backbone for running the local library service / jabber / journal backup with about 600 laptops in the school, any opinions on that?

I was thinking of making a small transparent plastic container for it so that each one would sit slightly above the roof of each classroom, then connect to a normal 802.11g router in the classroom.

As per other deployments we cut the signal strength inside the
classroom; the classrooms are running on two non overlapping channels and the mesh backbone on another.  We should have results by the end of the month.  Given the cost of sending technicians to do cabling, feeding them, etc. I'm hoping this works out as about the same cost but more scalable.

Regards,

Mike

NinuxDay in Rome from November 27-29, 2009

The Ninux.org team announced the first “Ninux Day”, a weekend with about and for wireless communities. You will meet software and hardware hackers, geeks, nerds, engineers, artists, the curious and academics. Experts from all over Europe offer technical and social presentations in the area of wireless community networks.

Join the Ninux Days in Rome, Italy, from November 27-29, 2009.


More Info here:

* http://wiki.ninux.org/NinuxDay2009
* http://wiki.ninux.org/NinuxDay2009en (English)
* http://wiki.ninux.org/NinuxDay2009it (Italian)
* Announcement: http://blog.ninux.org/2009/09/03/ninux-day-2009
* Ninux Blog http://blog.ninux.org

[via ZioPRoTo]

Bristol Wireless Video

Bristol Wireless is a community project where people formed a cooperative to work together. They provide services all over Bristol, UK. I found a video that was produced already in 2005 now. Enjoy!

Links:

* http://www.bristolwireless.net
* YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlB92EJgwIY
* Download: http://www.bristolwireless.net/video/bw_90_sec_challenge.mp4

6mesh project: IPv6 freifunk mesh networks

Alex Morlang and Daniel Paufler had a presentation about the current advancement of the Freifunk 6mesh project for IPv6 routing in wireless mesh networks at a meeting of Freifunk core technologists in Berlin. The presentation is currently only partly available in English, but the German version offers good insights still for people working on wireless mesh networks anywhere. 

Links:

* pdf version at freifunk Berlin download site: http://download.berlin.freifunk.net/pdf/vortrag/6mesh/freifunk-ipv6-mesh-siit-praesentation.pdf
* Alexander Morlang http://blogs.k-ita.de/~alx/
* Daniel Paufler http://blog.leo34.net

Freifunk: Free Information Infrastructures all over the world

It seems to me sometimes some people think of Freifunk as a software and network project only. For me Freifunk is an idea and philosophy in the first place. Freifunk means the freedom to connect in local and global networks. It is the equivalent to free and open source software as for Gnu/Linux or free content as for Wikimedia. What Freifunk means to me and implies as policies:

  1. Access to information and knowledge is free as in freedom
  2. Nobody restricts communication with others
  3. Local and global wireless and wired networks are public spaces like streets, parcs, forests and the sea
  4. Networks and digital infrastructures must be based on free and open source software and open standards
  5. Regulators, governments and policy makers should grant a freely licensed open spectrum to the public
  6. Everyone can take part in free networks as long as he/she accepts the right of othes to partipate and forwards the data of others over his/her own node
  7. Networks follow decentralised models
  8. Everyone can set up his/her own network based on the technology of free and open networks

Journal for Community Informatics Special on Wireless Networking for Communities, Citizens and the Public Interest

The Journal "Community informatics" has published a special about Wireless Networking for Communities, Citizens and the Public Interest. Authors include Michael Gurstein, Alison Powell, Sascha D. Meinrath, Marco Adria, Hanna Hye-Na Cho, Laura Forlano, Andrea H Tapia, Julio Angel Ortiz, Kim Dara, Seán Ó Siochrú, Vidyut Samanta, Chase Laurelle Alexandria Knowles, Jeff Burke, Fabian Wagmister, Deborah Estrin, Ermanno Pietrosemoli, Andrew Clement, Amelia Potter,  Alisha Bhagat.

http://ci-journal.net

This special issue documents the state of the art in research on community wireless applications, and presents assessments of community wireless projects in a variety of local contexts: from large urban centers in North America to rural locations in Asia and Latin America. Together, the papers and field notes in this special issue reflect on a community-centric approach to communications infrastructure development. These works describe the challenges – both practical and theoretical – that face community wireless networking, as well as the implications many of these projects have to support social and economic justice around the globe.

The papers in this special issue demonstrate that community-based approaches to Wifi development are part of a broader integration of technology, organizational capacity, and local culture. Social goals are part of most community Wifi projects, and integrating these goals and the technical structures of Wifi networks is part of what makes many community Wifi projects successful. Both full papers and field notes explore this integration and focus on various facets of the community wireless networking movement.

The papers included in this issue explore different theoretical approaches that help situate community wireless networking as social and technical phenomena. Adria provides a meta-theoretical discussion of how Wifi networks reconfigure space and time -- using the medium theory of McLuhan and Virilio to suggest that Wifi networks have the potential to integrate local geographical and temporal experiences.

The other papers use empirical approaches to assess the social aspects of community wireless networking. Tapia and Ortiz explore the claims made by operators of municipal-community networks that these projects are addressing the digital divide. Using a textual analysis of claims made in documents including “press releases, requests for proposals, letters of intent, and other official policy documents,” as well as interviews with key informants in US municipal-community projects, they interrogate the extent to which networks facilitate meaningful digital inclusion.

Both Cho and Forlano explore the social aspects of community wireless networking in more detail: Cho focusing on the development of networks and Forlano on their use. Cho reveals how the development of community wireless networks (CWNs) builds social capital for the participants. She develops the concept of “place-peer community” to explain how Wifi projects define “community.” Cho also describes how contributions to community wireless networks help to develop ‘civic bandwidth’ among their contributors. Like Tapia and Oritz, she identifies CWNs as developing a discourse that connects the development of digital information and communication technologies with efforts to improve communities.

Forlano explores the new social relationships created through the everyday use of community-based Wifi networks, examining the gap between media representations of Wifi as an “anytime, anywhere” solution and the socio-cultural practices of people using free Wifi hotspots in New York City. As she discovers, freelance workers use Wifi hotspots to create temporary working environments that eliminate some of the isolation of working without a fixed office, while providing a basic infrastructure including network connectivity and electrical power. These Wifi hotspots support communities of mobile, flexible workers who establish relationships with a particular place and its people. Together with Cho’s insights about the social capital mobilized through the process of developing community Wifi networks, this suggests that Wifi hotspots may have a unique role to play in redefining the experiences of community in urban areas.

The field notes in this issue offer a window into the realities of local experiments with Wifi technology. The impacts of the projects they document depend on the local political context (Clement), the community’s capacity (Dara, Dimanche, and O Siochru; Bhagat), the potential for community and industry partnerships to create new ways for community members to gather data and to aggregate it (Samanta), and how changing our assumptions about the role of wireless infrastructure can open up new opportunities for affordable broadband (Pietrosemoli).

These notes highlight how local contexts influence what is considered the “public interest” and how community wireless projects can best serve the general public. For example, Clement criticizes the Toronto Hydro Wireless project, considered a technical success, because its governance structure forces the network to be operated for-profit rather than as a public service. Samanta provides an outline of some potential social uses for an experimental wireless network that could aggregate data from numerous wireless devices. Some suggested uses of this network include collecting ambient audio data that, when mapped, could provide quality of life indicators.

In the global South, the public interest is served by the communication and applications made possible by wireless networks established in previously un-served areas. In these contexts as well, important challenges also emerge. Bhagat assesses the results of a mesh network built in Mahavilachchiya village where a local entrepreneur developed a wireless network as an extension of a computer school where local children learned ICT skills. This Wifi connectivity project extended internet access to homes, and encouraged more local residents to use the internet. However, Bhagat also notes that connecting the village to the internet may have negative impacts as well: introducing new forms of media and new social expectations to the village and disrupting historical cultural norms.

Dara, Dimanche and O Siochru explore how local political and social contexts impact the design and deployment phase of one local wireless network. From the challenging context of Cambodia, they report on the first phase of the I-REACH project, a distributed mesh network providing internet connectivity and local media using solar-powered devices. The project’s challenges in obtaining permission from local government, sourcing material, and recruiting qualified local staff and contractors underscores the notion that community-based infrastructure implementation is a social (and an institutional) as well as a technical endeavor.

Ermanno Pietrosemoli and his international team of Wifi researchers have deployed wireless links spanning hundreds of kilometers. By proofing out a methodology for creating low-cost, long-distance Wifi, Pietrosemoli forces us to question the notion that Wifi is just for local networking. As a potential backhaul solution, Wifi may offer an exceptional value for communities and constituencies that would not otherwise be able to afford broadband connectivity.

Across these paper and notes, a common thread linking the articles is the importance of establishing local strategies for leveraging wireless technologies in the public interest. (Alison Powell, Sascha D. Meinrath, Introduction to the Special Issue: Wireless Networking for Communities, Citizens and the Public Interest, Vol. 4 No. 1, 2008, http://ci-journal.net/index.php/ciej/article/view/490/389)
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