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.