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Re: <nettime> Community WiFi in UK and Germany, a round-up
Armin Medosch on Thu, 18 Oct 2007 10:19:09 +0200 (CEST)

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

hi mr morlock elloi

I like that, good level of aggro and contestational spirit. finally
someone speaks up against the myth of self-made infrastructures, they
are never a good idea, unless they cover the whole globe, innit? and
it was long overdue to bash up those community wifi-ers and their
municipial siblings. it will all end up in google's hands and data
vaults anyway, yes?

actually, there is a point to be made about long distance
infrastructures, I think it is true that this is an issue. but
that no-one has yet found the magic to make this happen, this does
not mean it is not being thought about it. there are a lot pof
people and groups thinking about 'generic infrastructures' or free
infrastructures and possibilities to do it on all levels and layers,
from using packet radio to satellites.

secondly, to describe citywide wireless mesh infratsructures such
as freifunk in berlin and various other cities as well as similar
projects all over the world where they really do have networks which
cover cities, maybe not completely but like a wide mesh, as not really
noteworthy (or masturbation in your own words), then that sounds a
bit hollow, because to achieve this is not trivial and something very

Besides the existence of real city networks with hundreds and
thousands of nodes in even smaller cities such as Halle or Graz the
free network scene as part of the larger free software communites have
developed lots of other ideas which are already in the process of
being coopted or have been coopted fully, by the industry with things
such as meraki and fon.

however, there are related areas where the world has still the
catching up to do with things taht were talked about in the wireless
community some years ago, such as to hijack leftover bands in the
spectrum for gsm to make community cells happen and spread telephony
over urban areas as well.Not to speak of all the new projects such as
hive networks or netsufuku and grassroots cartography and so on and so
forth. older people may remember still the drama about domain names
with namespace.

In principle having independent infratsructures has always been a hot
topic and people once passionately discussed this on tis very list.
regarding your post, I can only conclude that you are not very well
informed and that in turn maybe means I and others should write more
about this stuff as nobody else does it or only in negative terms.

so, as a short further elaboration, community fibre exists in
copenhagen, for instance and yes, infrastructural projects on a
certain level become boring and projects trend to bear the hallmarks
of the orgsanisational modus operandi of a certain period in time --
you cant be big without being a child of your time -- or is that what
you meant with corporate? just look at xs4all or other successful
internet companies like silverserver. to continue what they are doing
they had to become more like any 'normal' company but I am still glad
they are around and in times of real need I think they would sling me
a lifeline.

to sum it up, I dont know where really your strong anti-ness comes
from but I thank you for the motivation this has given me to write
this posting and hopefully more articles about free infrastructures in
the near future as a lot has happened recently especially in the area
of mesh routing protocols.

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