This project is not being actively pursued as of mid-August 2008. See the mailing list for related discussions.
Personal Telco helps Portlanders get free wireless access from many locations around town.
We are a non-profit, so we accomplish all this on a pretty lean diet. Rather than funding our nodes with advertising or other arrangements, we work to persuade individuals and businesses to share their own broadband Internet connections, and we provide technical assistance in setting that up.
We couldn't do what we do without people like you. So get hooked up, and then get in touch! A little of your help will go a long way toward building a citywide wireless network.
Go get some free wi-fi!
There are already lots of Personal Telco “nodes” around town, covering anywhere from one or two yards to many city blocks. Anywhere you see a wireless access point with the name “www.personaltelco.net“, you should be able to get online for free. (We have a map of nodes here.) If you haven’t tried already, fire up your laptop and give it a shot!
Take some time to surf the web while sipping a latte or watching a game at the park. Pretty cool, huh?
Now, how about helping us build another free wireless node?
Now help us make more free wi-fi!
Do you have broadband Internet at your home or in your business? How about sharing it? Your neighbors and guests will love the convenience, you probably won’t notice any difference in your own service, and the fairly minimal risks are easy to address. On a larger scale, imagine a Portland where a couple people on every block choose to share this way; ubiquitous free wireless is no mere pipe dream!
Here’s the easiest way to set it up:
- Buy a wireless router, and install it between your Internet connection and your home computer. (It will have easy setup instructions.)
Go into the router’s configuration screen, and change the network’s name (or SSID) from the default (which might be “linksys,” “d-link,” “netgear,” or the like) to “www.personaltelco.net“. That is a clue to your neighbors that you are sharing your Internet connection on purpose, and that they’re welcome to use it.
Of course, there are better ways than that, too. If you’re concerned about security, or you want to limit the bandwidth available to others, or have other needs or ideas, please get in touch. We’re happy to help anyone who wants to set up a public node; it’s what we’re here for.
Or, if you’re the “hey, I can do that myself” type, we have a wiki full of informations, a mailing list, and all kinds of other goodies to keep you busy. Or if you’d like to donate some cold hard cash, that’s most welcome, too, and will help us pursue other nodes. Donate here.