Making things mesh

In my last couple of posts, I have bemoaned how our beloved internet is being more and more choked and censored.  If you’d like to read them, they are here and here.

It seems to me that as long as the internet is delivered to our homes via physical infrastructure, it will necessarily be endangered.


Because this infrastructure has to be physically delivered to our homes and offices by someone.

This someone is a public or private company.  Either way, this someone is subject to government regulation.  Therefore, if the government imposes unreasonable demands on this someone, this someone must comply or loose their license to do business in that country.

So, what is the answer?  How do we throw off the shackles of virtual oppression?

In my never-humble-opinion, we must find a way of building up an internet-type place which is accessed without any physical infrastructure.  No satellite signal provider.  No telephone or cable cables carrying our bits and bytes back and forth.  There MUST be another way!

The question now is:  what is the BEST way of doing this?

There are several ways of going about it.  I simply lack the depth of knowledge in this field to know which would be the best solution.  Therefore, I would like to ask everyone’s opinion on some possible ways to go about this…

One possible solution is to build a world-wide mesh.

This is actually rather neat! An area has a whole bunch of little receivers/transmitters which automatically find the best path for a signal to take.  The drawback here is that these nodes have to be installed by someone and one of them has to have a physical connection to the internet itself.  In other words, there is still a problem.

Yet, this could perhaps provide a partial solution…

Do you remember that most awesome initiative by the High-Tech people to help kids in Africa learn:  the ‘one laptop per child’ initiative?  Here, kids in Africa (and elsewhere) would be given some pretty awesome, specialized laptops: this wold allow them to hook up to the world-wide internet and provide them the opportunity to learn!

Yet, the initiative faced a problem:  how can these laptops connect to the internet, when they are given to kids where no internet infrastructure exists?

This was solved by making each and every one of these specialized laptops also work as a node in a mesh network!

That built a ‘mobile ad hoc network’.  The communication protocols for this have already been developed…

In such a network – were it to be spread worldwide – there would not be any central channels or ISPs which could exert control over communication.  Of course, there would be a whole slew of problems with this solution that would need to be worked out before this would be a practical solution.

What I would like to know is if this would be a step in the right direction.

What do you think?

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