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Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network

Mike Linksvayer, November 21st, 2007

A 44 page guide to Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network:

Reliable, affordable and easy access to telecommunication services for all has been identified as key to social and economic development in Africa. Self-provisioning and community ownership of low cost, distributed infrastructure is becoming a viable alternative to increase the penetration of telecommunication services in rural Africa. The recent emergence of wireless mesh network technology (based on IEEE 802.11 a/b/g standards) can help to improve the delivery of telecommunication services in these regions.

The guide tries to simplfy the planning and building of a mesh network, using a step-by-step approach to setting up a infrastructure mesh node, or an access point using a Linksys WRT54gl and the Freifunk firmware or DD WRT firmware depending on the node type.

The first version of the guide was published earlier this month. I mention both because the guide is licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike and because it would be wonderful if the network layer turned out to be something that could also be peer produced, e.g., see a portion of Lawrence Lessig’s 2006 LinuxWorld keynote or portions of Yochai Benkler’s Wealth of Networks, but that aspiration is largely untested. And there’s nothing like practical experience.

2 Responses to “Building a Rural Wireless Mesh Network”

  1. sokoni Chipili says:

    This is some brilliant stuff, surely this is for research purposes only. I want to try it at a network at a school to teach pupils on wireless networks and wireless mest networks.

    Keep the spirit and the good work

  2. Josh says:

    Hello. The rapid advancements of low-cost small-size devices for wireless communications with their international standards and broadband backbone networks using optical fibers accelerate the deployment of wireless networks around the world.
The wireless mesh network has emerged as the generalization of the conventional wireless network. However, wireless mesh network has several problems to be solved before being deployed as the fundamental network infrastructure for daily use. Yesterday I found one great Open Access book on this theme: “ Wireless Mesh Networks”. Book is free to download, or you just can read it on online reading platform here, in the same location: http://www.intechopen.com/books/show/title/wireless-mesh-networks The book is edited to specify some problems that come from the disadvantages in wireless mesh network and give their solutions with challenges. It is a collective work of excellent contributions by experts in wireless mesh network. Cheers!