A brief description of how PersonalTelco will conquer the world
Get as many AccessPoints (they will not be inter-connected to start with) up as possible. Help people make sensible choices about hardware.
Use those AccessPoints to to start building local communities (eg. sharing with neighbors who have convenient LineOfSight). Each community should be autonomous (this is key). Currently the plan is that each community will have an access point, a CaptivePortal (probably a *nix box) and an internet connection. In the longer term they will also have at least one wireless link to another local community.
Start building wireless connections between communities. By this point we should have a better feel for what's feasible and what technology works well for us. Our original intent was to just let the network mesh however was convenient, further thinking has revealed that we're not too confident in this plan so we have started talking about setting up regional aggregation points with higher quality gear.
So where do we stand? Phase 1 is ongoing but the number of nodes installed , both PTPOps managed and those managed by individuals who are PTP affiliates, is astounding. Some areas of the city are still dark while ohers are fast moving into Phase 2
Phase 2 is in play across a few areas in the city. The Belmont/Hawthorne area known as Sunnyside has a couple of nodes repeating off of one another as well as single nodes close enough to have created coverage clouds. They have begun to work togther to coordinate the ability to roam across the repeater nodes who share one central Nocat box, TomHiggins ' Node236. Another such community is being buiilt up in the Northen part of the city around the home of AaronBaer
Phase 3 is still in the works. A run at this was done up via the Rocky Butte node, KeeganQuinn 's home node and a tunnel to a third node. Work is underway to do internode routing via OpenVPN for those nodes not in LOS of others.
All in all things are far more centralized and less autonomous than the orginal ThePlan talked of. There is a PTPOps group that does much of the installing of NoCat boxes, APs, Antenna and such. There are more folks stepping up to learn how and in time this may create the autonmous community clouds set out in Phase 2
- 09/2006 The Plan was brought up at the August monthly meeting, in particular our goals and a near-term plan of action.
* Meeting 1: A look back. A meeting was held on Sep 12 2006 to discuss where PTP has been, and what motivates the people involved.
Who are the stakeholders and what are their motivations?
- Users: care about free internet. free as in beer and free as in speech. good locations.
- Core Volunteers: technical challenges. faith in the gift economy. sticking it to the man. Camaraderie. public service. professional networking.
- Node Hosts: identify with the PTP brand. free labor/window sticker. community service.
- Meeting Attendees: learn wireless. volunteer opportunities. solicit node help. networking. interesting presentations.
- Email List Subscribers: education. keep up with ptp events. question and answer.
What are some goals of the PTP?
- MAN sharing
- Generate local content
- Setup access points
- Cover neighborhoods
- Neighborhood to Neighborhood links
- A network by the people for the people
- Leverage the existing AP density
What are some measures of success?
- A deployable mesh technology
- A map of city-wide coverage with single block resolution
- Developing a meshing solution
- PTP ESSID uptake as a percentage of all APs in the city (currently 0.07%)
- Number of active volunteers
- Email list activity
* Meeting 2: Project brain-storming. A meeting was held on Sep 20 2006 to make a list of potential projects to focus on.
Weekly meeting notes from 9/20/06
Short term goals:
- use open VPN for a few
- node audit
- chososing a mesh technology
collaborate with FreeGeek to help get computer recipients connected
- contact music labels in portland to help provide local content
- provide a mechanism for local content serivice descovery
- update the branding and image of PTP
- create a PR position / responsibilities / designate
Long Term Goals:
- interconnected node to have a MAN
- bridge the digital devide
- build local content
- create networking value
Ways to Increase PTP membership
- create new nodes
- convert existing AP's to nodes
- identify potential connections between nodes
- make fist contact with potential node owners
Potential PTP todo list
- rewrite the website to bring the mission to the front and to make clear what PTP involvement is really about.
- pilot open VPN network - enable zero configuration on it
- calculate PTP essids as a percentage of the total AP's in the City.
- complete node audit
- buy merakis
- attempt to build full node on WRT or similar platform
- create instructional DVD
- IRS filing to extend 501c3 status
- new creat-a-node how-to
- AP config class at every monthly.