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Re: <nettime> Community WiFi in UK and Germany, a round-up
Morlock Elloi on Tue, 16 Oct 2007 23:01:36 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Community WiFi in UK and Germany, a round-up


I don't see anything particularly surprising in industry coopting
alternative (let's call them the real name: anti-capitalist) models
and movements. These days even bottled water is "green" so it's only
natural for the paid last mile wireless to be "free".

There is a deeper problem in non-commercial connectivity in the
sense that there is no viable technology for competitive do-your-own
backbone, and without that free wireless is like giving free water
to passers-by and bitching about the water utility company wanted to
charge you for that. You see, no one cares about local water. What the
fuck do I have to communicate about with my neighbours? Even within
the same city. The real and only value of Internet is universal global
access. Think about it: suppose that someone offers you completely
free access that switches packets only within UK. How many people
would go for it?

Up to day no one came up with a reliable "community" (whatever that
means) based long haul solution. Or do you see "community" fiber and
"community" high performance exchanges any time soon? I don't - I just
don't see how such entities would be any different from the commercial
model.

Don't forget that Internet started as non-commercial. One had to sign
proper agreements to get uucp link from NSF (who ran the backbone),
for free. It didn't work in the long run, because evil capitalists
hijacked it.

Until a technology is developed where I can have reliable
point-to-point link between Amsterdam and Buenos Aires for the
investment of few hundred euros and no mediators, a free last mile
is just another masturbatory domain for activists, frankly hijacking
energy better used elsewhere.





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