The last few months we’ve witnessed a series of events that have, and still are, challenging life as we know it. Following the latest situation generated by COVID-19 and the possible threat of not having internet communication for one reason or another (companies getting out of business, technical issues from high usage, a not well thought governmental decision etc.), together with Redon we were talking about how to counter this what-if. Therefore, we (Redon’s suggestion) are starting this exploratory discussion for the potential creation of solutions that will give us the possibility to exchange information even when there are issues with connectivity from ISPs and mobile providers, which are considered centralised entities. This is the general issue and if you are interested to join the discussion and be part of (hopefully) a solution, join us this Friday at 15.30 CET at the video call discussion we are planning to host.
The link for the video channel will be published here later.
Some initial thoughts and potential solutions include:
Mesh network concept for Tirana area
A mesh network (or simply meshnet) is a local network topology in which the infrastructure nodes (i.e. bridges, switches, and other infrastructure devices) connect directly, dynamically and non-hierarchically to as many other nodes as possible and cooperate with one another to efficiently route data from/to clients. This lack of dependency on one node allows for every node to participate in the relay of information. Mesh networks dynamically self-organize and self-configure, which can reduce installation overhead. The ability to self-configure enables dynamic distribution of workloads, particularly in the event a few nodes should fail. This in turn contributes to fault-tolerance and reduced maintenance costs.
(you can read the full Wikipedia article here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesh_networking)
Mesh network in practice (Maybe it is not active anymore)
The Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network (AWMN) is a grassroots wireless community network that was started 2002 in Athens, Greece. It takes advantage of new wireless technologies to connect people and services. In August 2010 the network comprised 1120 backbone nodes and more than 2900 client computers connect to it. More than 9,000 people had have stated their intention to join AWMN in the near future. There is also an association-club named awmn.
List of wireless community networks by region
Internet in a Box
Widespread usage of Kiwix
Kiwix is an offline reader for online content like Wikipedia, Project Gutenberg, or TED Talks. It makes knowledge available to people with no or limited internet access. The software as well as the content is free to use for anyone.
Hopefully this gathers interest from folks that care about freedom of knowledge and information sharing through decentralized networks.