Our Mission Statement
Personal Telco Project is a nonprofit organization which promotes public wireless access through community support and education.
We welcome new members regardless of their level of knowledge. If help is needed setting up a node join the list, attend the meetings and someone will be glad to help out, setting up is easier than you think! This organization is not about making money, Personal Telco Project is about community. Personal Telco Project members volunteer to build wireless hotspots and in exchange for their time and energy receive access to all the other nodes around the Portland area. The more nodes that can be sponsored by local businesses in high traffic areas such as downtown, and in Portland's 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. Personal Telco Project 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 Personal Telco Project is and What we are about?
We are a diverse group of people who believe that wireless Internet access should be available to everyone and creates a positive environment for the community. We are volunteer enthusiasts, working with the broadband wireless standard called 802.11b (Wi-Fi).
We first added Wi-Fi access points to our respective homes then allowed neighbors and friends to share in our newfound 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.
Personal Telco Project is currently a Oregon nonprofit and has submitted the paper work to become tax exempt as a federal 501(c) (3) nonprofit. Personal Telco Project wants to facilitate our partnerships with businesses and to allow us to raise tax-deductible contributions.
Accessing the Personal Telco Project Network
We already have several well-placed nodes, among them Pioneer Courthouse Square, the South Park Blocks and the Heaven Cafe (SW 10th and Stark) downtown, and Hostelling 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 Project 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. Personal Telco Project does not charge anyone to use the wireless resources.
Personal Telco Project Builds Community Networking
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 Project 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.