Government support for open source wireless mesh

Government support for open source wireless mesh

Summary: The group has sought NSF funding before, unsuccessfully. What made the difference this time? It might be the success people inspired by the work had in bringing broadband back quickly after Hurricane Katrina and the Indonesia tsunami.

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TOPICS: Wi-Fi
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It's just $500,000, but it's better than nothing.

The National Science Foundation has announced a grant to the Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network (CUCWN) for help in developing open source standards in wireless mesh.

The area is home to the University of Illinois (go Illini) and I hope it's not a coincidence that UI is also where the Mosaic browser was developed. UI is a partner in the grant.

The project is spearheaded by Sascha Meinrath (left), a longtime leader in the technology of wireless mesh.

While most open source projects target software companies like Microsoft or Oracle, the game in this case is much bigger -- the Bells and cable operators. A wireless mesh, based on open standards, could reach competitive fiber and easily bypass these gatekeepers, guaranteeing competitive broadband.

Such is the hope, anyway. But while I talk and write about it a lot, Sascha is actually doing it.

The group has sought NSF funding before, unsuccessfully. What made the difference this time? It might be the success people inspired by the work had in bringing broadband back quickly after Hurricane Katrina and the Indonesia tsunami.

The specific code works in the network layer, and helps increase signal strength as well as get rid of redundancies. It's available at the CUCWN Web site and is currently at version 0.6.0

Topic: Wi-Fi

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3 comments
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  • What Bull droppings.

    Man, you must really be desperate to come up with ANY open source spin. Here is a clue for you, wireless works based on STANDARDS built by IEEE. Open sores gets to use them JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.
    No_Ax_to_Grind
    • It's not about open source, gelding.

      It's about taking control of the net away from the telco/government alliance that's looking to turn it into a massive domestic-spying/ad-distribution botnet.

      If you'd quit your job and leave that box the telco stuffed you into, you would see it.
      Mr. Roboto
      • I wish it was that organized

        On 07/21/06 Mr. Roboto spoke and said:

        > It's about taking control of the net away from
        > the telco/government alliance that's looking to
        > turn it into a massive
        > domestic-spying/ad-distribution botnet.

        The alternatives for high-speed internet around here are Comcast (give us your money. Have they been reading Charles G. Finney's [i]The Unholy City[/i]?) and Verizon (Give us your money and follow our rules and maybe we won't filter out services and contacts that are important to you but we refuse to guarantee it).

        The alliance wants to control those they call the bad guys. That probably does mean everybody. They also want to make every penny off us they can, but they are quite happy to let the Adsource malware slug it out on our systems using their connections as long as the commercial interests can get their filthy lucre and their lobbyists can do wonderful things for our elected representitives.
        jplatt39