OLPC wireless tech goes the distance

The pre-draft 802.11s version, which is more suited for conditions in developing economies, has been tested to a range of 2km.

A tester for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project has tested wireless technology using the 802.11s 'mesh networking' pre-draft in Australia's outback and achieved distances of 2km.

In a video interview with ZDNet Australia at the AusCERT 2007 conference in Queensland last week, OLPC's director of security architecture Ivan Krstić said the Outback provided "close to perfect conditions".

Krstić said the OLPC decided to go with the pre-draft 802.11s technology because it made the most sense for the project.

"In many parts of the world where we are going there simply is no infrastructure and there are no access points. If the kids go home to their village or houses after school they are not going to have a LAN or a wireless network…to exchange documents, IM and e-mail.

"The 802.11s pre-draft [allows them to] create network topologies without any configuration that work across multiple hops...so if any computer has an Internet connection, then anybody that can 'hear' it, who is several hops away, can share that Internet connection," said Krstić.