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Author Topic: Decentralizing the Internet with Mesh Networks?  (Read 104 times)
SHBlizzard
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March 23, 2018, 07:28:47 PM
Merited by QuestionAuthority (20), funsponge (1)
 #1

How to decentralize the internet.

1.) connect to an IXP (such as Open IXP - who believes in a open and free internet) - someone with know how of BGP networking would help a lot
2.) Buy Lots of Hardware, such as Ubiquiti/Mimosa mesh network gear (long range 5ghz mid band (unlicensed) antennas, short range 5ghz mid band  ethernet ports, etc)
3.) Get people to join the network and volunteer their time help setting up more APs and Gateways
4.) if there is another mesh network locally, try and see if you can combine your networks,
5) Eventually community and locally operated Mesh network will unite across states and nations

I know this seems impossible but I believe that if we start now, we could decentralize the internet  in 10-15 years

There is one thing I am not sure of, it is how do we scale such a Network without traditional ISPs trying to crack down (via lobbying on local govts etc) on locally owned mesh networks
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/7x4y8a/net-neutrality-fcc-community-networks

https://www.coindesk.com/plan-b-ethereum-innovators-reviving-fight-net-neutrality/

I have been discussing with some of my friends of the long term possibility of this happening, and whether or not powerful ISPs would win their attempts to crack down on local mesh networks.

NYC mesh network - https://nycmesh.net/
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aleksej996
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March 24, 2018, 11:28:22 PM
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I've been thinking about doing this in my local area, but it will require more work and funds.
I also can't seem to get my directional antenna to work properly and have no idea why.

The true problem I see here is how could we connect cities with each other. Inside the city we can use regular wifi, but I don't know what kind of distance we could get with these long range antennas and if that would be enough to connect cities with each other.

I would love to work on this stuff, but this will take a lot of time with limited funds, I will keep it as a long term goal however.
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March 25, 2018, 03:35:53 AM
Merited by aleksej996 (2)
 #3

I've been thinking about doing this in my local area, but it will require more work and funds.
I also can't seem to get my directional antenna to work properly and have no idea why.

The true problem I see here is how could we connect cities with each other. Inside the city we can use regular wifi, but I don't know what kind of distance we could get with these long range antennas and if that would be enough to connect cities with each other.

I would love to work on this stuff, but this will take a lot of time with limited funds, I will keep it as a long term goal however.

https://www.ubnt.com/airfiber/airfiber5/

13 - 100 Km range depending on the model - lets take the 100km range (in perfect conditions) - so really more like 20 km with trees and buildings (complete guess) -

now lets take a relatively small country, lets say Belgium - 30,000 sq. km - assuming the wifi range is 100km surface of a circle is pi*r^2 = pi*100^2 = 31,000 sq. km - in theory - only one of their network backhaul model AFU/U would cover all of Belgium - now assuming the range of 20 km - the surface area of the network backhaul would be roughly 1200 sq. Km per unit - so more about 30 would cover Belgium.

here is a map of NYCs mesh network - the Red lines connect Nodes via Air wifi
https://nycmesh.net/map/

I think it is doable, even easy to start by yourself, but it much harder to scale out and get adoption when people are so used to just only one way of getting internet access
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March 25, 2018, 03:52:14 AM
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That sounds like an impossible solution to reach mass market. Simply because regular internet for most people is just the internet company comes and connects it to their computer.
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March 25, 2018, 04:45:02 PM
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That sounds like an impossible solution to reach mass market. Simply because regular internet for most people is just the internet company comes and connects it to their computer.

I don't know, I definitely overly simplified the task but
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guifi.net

a spanish mesh network was born in 2004 due to lack of service from said ISPs and in 2018 this network continues to grow to this day - "over 46,000 km of wireless links" that seems pretty large scale.

110 new nodes last week https://guifi.net/en

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March 27, 2018, 09:47:30 PM
 #6

https://www.ubnt.com/airfiber/airfiber5/

13 - 100 Km range depending on the model - lets take the 100km range (in perfect conditions) - so really more like 20 km with trees and buildings (complete guess) -

now lets take a relatively small country, lets say Belgium - 30,000 sq. km - assuming the wifi range is 100km surface of a circle is pi*r^2 = pi*100^2 = 31,000 sq. km - in theory - only one of their network backhaul model AFU/U would cover all of Belgium - now assuming the range of 20 km - the surface area of the network backhaul would be roughly 1200 sq. Km per unit - so more about 30 would cover Belgium.

here is a map of NYCs mesh network - the Red lines connect Nodes via Air wifi
https://nycmesh.net/map/

I think it is doable, even easy to start by yourself, but it much harder to scale out and get adoption when people are so used to just only one way of getting internet access

This would do the job if it works. Never heard of such distances being done over air before.
They don't sell them outside of US though for now, but it gives me hope that it is possible to connect cities.
Thanks for the links and this topic.
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April 01, 2018, 06:20:02 AM
 #7

That sounds like an impossible solution to reach mass market. Simply because regular internet for most people is just the internet company comes and connects it to their computer.

I don't know, I definitely overly simplified the task but
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guifi.net

a spanish mesh network was born in 2004 due to lack of service from said ISPs and in 2018 this network continues to grow to this day - "over 46,000 km of wireless links" that seems pretty large scale.

110 new nodes last week https://guifi.net/en



It's still very niche. By mass market I mean your everyday teenage girl (who are not into technology), average FB user, mom and dad, grand parents. Just basically the vast majority of people. Anything that requires an extra step is a bid no no.
SHBlizzard
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April 02, 2018, 06:05:26 AM
 #8

That sounds like an impossible solution to reach mass market. Simply because regular internet for most people is just the internet company comes and connects it to their computer.

I don't know, I definitely overly simplified the task but
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guifi.net

a spanish mesh network was born in 2004 due to lack of service from said ISPs and in 2018 this network continues to grow to this day - "over 46,000 km of wireless links" that seems pretty large scale.

110 new nodes last week https://guifi.net/en



It's still very niche. By mass market I mean your everyday teenage girl (who are not into technology), average FB user, mom and dad, grand parents. Just basically the vast majority of people. Anything that requires an extra step is a bid no no.

true, maybe approaching it from a enterprise POV and attack that way. there are definitely scaling issues with WISPs https://www1.icsi.berkeley.edu/~barath/papers/celerate-dev15.pdf

but recently a 10gbps omni AP came out https://www.ignitenet.com/products/ml-10g-omni/
which can probably handle about about 500 CPEs (maybe more idk, im rather new to this), WISPs are mostly used in Rural areas, but i think with this newer tech we could see these Fixed Wireless providers have more of a presence in cities
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