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Personal Telco IRC

We just setup a browser-based IRC client that will make it easier for people to contact our volunteers for node support and general wireless questions. Feel free to check it out at irc.personaltelco.net

For more IRC information, check out the wiki entry.

Also note that this may not be supported by certain browser configurations. You can always install an IRC client, such as mIRC, XChat or Irssi if the applet doesn’t work for you.

Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors on Wednesday

As announced last month, this is the week of the Annual Meeting of the Personal Telco Project, Inc. Board of Directors. The State of Oregon has various requirements for Corporations chartered here, and this is one of them.

On Wednesday at 6:30 pm we’ll convene at the offices of Site 9 in downtown Portland. Site 9 has a lovely meeting room, but there is one downside and that is that the building’s outside door locks at 6 pm. As a result, you’ll need to coordinate with me or Paul (our host) in advance to arrange entrance. We’d love to have you there, so please do contact one of us.

Site 9 is located at 519 SW 3rd Street, Suite 400.

Personal Telco needs a new lawyer.

The Personal Telco Project is seeking a lawyer/law firm that can represent us in connection with our corporate maintenance and other matters. For the past 5 years of our incorporation, this service was very generously handled by Davis Wright Tremaine.

If you are, or are aware of someone who is interested in providing us with pro-bono service, please contact myself or Russell Senior.


A recent story about a wifi project in the small town of Philomath, Oregon was noticed by MuniWireless, but in the process they appear to have veered off the road of comprehension. The original story, published in the Corvallis Gazette-Times notes in its first sentence:

A local high tech company is working to provide limited wireless Internet service throughout the city of Philomath for free, possibly by next year.

Reading a bit further:

Internet users could access e-mail accounts, the city’s home page and other local business and information sites [...] Locals would need to pay to receive full Internet access.

Now, that sounds perfectly clear. As a reader, I have an immediate understanding of at least the broad outlines of how the network would work. It is pretty close to one of the early ideas of a “walled-garden” model for the Unwire Portland project. I see that as pretty distinct from the Free that Personal Telco nodes provide, and even pretty distinct from the ad-supported “Free” that MetroFi provides. MuniWireless doesn’t seem to draw the same distinction. In the first few sentences of their reference, we read this:

Free Wi-Fi comes to Philomath, Oregon
A local company in Philomath, Oregon, expects to offer free Wi-Fi services to residents next year.

Now, they go on to describe the actual deal, which gets us back to the “walled garden” description, but conflating that with “Free” just seems weird to me. So much so, that I thought it was worth submitting a comment, which thus far (about 24 hours later) has not been approved:

Carol, your use of the word “free” here is an odd choice. The english language is filled with perfectly good words that could have described that network, but to use “free” completely debases what “free” should mean. If the Philomath network is “free wifi”, then I don’t see why a network that provides a DHCP resolution without a credit card or a login shouldn’t be labelled “free” as well. It amounts to about the same thing. There *are* free wifi networks. I’d be a lot happier if you reserved your use of “free” for those.


We have fired this up to invite the community to respond to matters in a fashion that seems to be much easier than our other current options (the wiki, mailing lists, irc, etc). Hopefully this will enable more feedback and discussion.

Jason McArthur

Personal Telco Project launches a blog!

Thanks to Jason McArthur for the idea and the implementation. This will provide a venue for commenting on the state of the community networking world.


To promote and build public wireless networks through community support and education.

You can learn more about how we all ended up with this at the MissionStatementDiscussion page.