Our Mission Statement
Personal Telco is a grass roots effort to build an Internet-connected wireless network in Portland Oregon. By deploying our own wireless access points, and providing the tools and support for others to do so, we are fostering the global growth of city-wide networks which are open to, and maintained by, the public. Getting Involved
We welcome new members regardless of your level of knowledge. If you need help setting up a node join our list, attend our meetings and soon youll be throwing the jargon about like a wireless pro. Again, this is not about making money, this is about community. You let me use your node when I happen to be in your neighborhood, and likewise you are welcome to use mine. The more nodes we can get sponsored by local businesses in high traffic areas such as downtown, and in Portlands many neighborhood mixed-use districts, the more useful the network becomes to everyone.
If you are interested in hosting a node, or know of a business which might be willing to donate a little commercial bandwidth and a window ledge for the good of the community, then please let us know. PTP members are also assisting local educational and community nonprofits to bring wireless to those who could realize wide ranging social benefits from access, if only it were available or affordable. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested providing public wireless access through your organization.
Who or What is Personal Telco?
We are a group of people from all walks of Portland life who believe that providing free wireless Internet access is a positive thing for our community. We are unpaid enthusiasts, working with the broadband wireless standard called 802.11b (WiFi).
We first added WiFi access points to our respective homes, then allowed neighbors and friends to share in our new found wireless mobility. The group has since gone on to enlist the support of local businesses to install publicly accessible hot spots on their premises. Through these prominent locations we are able to provide even greater access to the Internet.
The Personal Telco Project is currently working to attain 503(c) nonprofit status, to facilitate our partnerships with businesses and to allow us to raise tax deductible contributions.
Where is Personal Telco?
We already have several well-placed nodes, among them Pioneer Courthouse Square, the South Park Blocks and the Pittock Building (SW 10th and Stark) downtown, and Hosteling International on SE Hawthorne. Additionally, members provide access via almost 100 home-based hot spots in neighborhoods throughout the greater Portland area. Additionally, Personal Telco features a mobile hot spot in the form of a wireless-equipped satellite truck. This allows us to bring the Internet to far-flung community events, and, through streaming media technologies, bring those events to the Internet!
Connecting to any of our hot spots is very easy: simply locate a convenient node via the map on our web site, get in range and connect (also called associate) to the access point with your wireless-enabled computer or PDA. We dont charge anyone to use the wireless resources, nor do we use advertising.
Why is Personal Telco?
Rather than truly participating in the Internet, most of us are forced into becoming Internet consumers by paying monthly access fees to larger commercial resources. We believe this creates an Internet community populated by those who have the luxury to afford it.
The recent availability of high speed, low cost wireless equipment offers a solution, allowing communities to build networks independent of the traditional telecommunications infrastructure. Personal Telco supports the reinvention of community-operated networks and the ideals of an information democracy. By using a combination of technical savvy, community support and a do it yourself attitude, we are building a telecommunications infrastructure which is owned by the community and can be used by anyone for free.
More promotional material
FirstContact - This page has a letter to be used for PTP as a first contact to establish a node at a location. This letter is non technical.
FollowUpContact - This page has a letter to be used for PTP as a follow up contact to establish a node at a location. This letter is more technical.