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[OCLUG-Tech] Re: [oclug] Free Wireless project in Ottawa/Gatineau

  • Subject: [OCLUG-Tech] Re: [oclug] Free Wireless project in Ottawa/Gatineau
  • From: Adrian Irving-Beer <wisq-oclug [ at ] wisq [ dot ] net>
  • Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2005 11:21:17 -0500
On Sat, Nov 26, 2005 at 12:10:16PM -0500, Dave Sampson wrote:

> Another WIFI project I would be interested in playing with is
> trying to plan and design a route for a cross city, closed network
> via WIFI.

Like Seattle's effort, I believe.  They essentially created their own
city-wide no-telco Internet.  I've been interested in such an idea
myself, but have seen no such effort in Ottawa -- at least, none that
survived too long.

I have little interest in the whole "wifi for Internet access" thing
myself, but that's more a comment on my lifestyle -- specifically my
lack of a vehicle and not really liking coffee.  For those exceedingly
rare times when I really want to sit around on the net at a coffee
shop, Bridgehead offers what I need.  I can't see doing it at an
actual restaurant.

> This of course would use GIS (geographic Information systems) to
> plan the optimum line of site path. It would also give people a
> chance to test their home brew antennas, setup open source bases
> hotspot capture points and practice Linux network admin on a closed
> network.

Yes.  I'm mostly interested in the network admin part (particularly
any routing protocols it might use), but the idea of a free community
network with local content and people also appeals to me.  Plus I work
for a company that used to specialise in GIS.

> The network could aslo be open, but that could encourage cheating on
> spanning the network.

In what sense?  I think if it's a community network with community
content, having some open APs would allow anyone access to it.
Naturally, we don't want them spoofing routing protocols and rerouting
the network, but that's no different than any ISP's concerns, and can
be dealt with via packet filtering.

Some of the braver points could even offer Internet access... but at
their own discretion only, and I wouldn't want to make 'free Internet'
the focus of such a network.

> The process is the important part, not the end product with this
> project.

I disagree.  The process is important, but I think the end product is
equally so.  A city-wide wireless LAN with no access / content /
latency issues, ISP monitoring, or even a central authority.  There's
a lot of possibility there.

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