Welcome to the Personal Telco Project

The Personal Telco Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Portland, Oregon dedicated to the idea that people have a central role in how their networks are operated. We do that by building our own networks that we share with our communities, and by helping to educate others in how they can too. To date, we have done this using Wi-Fi technology. We began in 2000 by turning our own houses and apartments into wireless hotspots (or "nodes"), and then set about building networks in public locations such as parks and coffee shops. There are currently about 100 active nodes participating in our project. We would like to see people and businesses in every corner and on every block of the city participating.

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Contact Us
If you need help, or have a general question, please send an email to info@personaltelco.net, and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

If you need technical operational support please send an email to <ops AT personaltelco DOT net>. Keep in mind that we are a volunteer based Network Operations Team and we will try and respond as soon as we can.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions related to this website, please send an email to <webmaster AT personaltelco DOT net>, and a web maintainer will get back to you as soon as possible.

Our Mission Statement

We are here to promote and build public wireless networks through community support and education.

This site aims to help you find what you need in order to get connected to the community wireless network, or to participate in it. We thrive on feedback; if you have a question, comment, suggestion, or just can't find what you need, don't hesitate to let us know.

Looking for Partners

The City of Portland has offered to donate to us some of the remnants of the abandoned MetroFi network, the aborted city-wide wifi project that shutdown in July of 2008 that are about to be taken off of street lights and signal arms around the city. We are looking for partners to help us deploy these again. If you are a neighborhood association or a business association or a housing project or just a group of neighbors that can help us find places to mount devices and some bandwidth, please get in touch <info AT personaltelco DOT net>. We have talented people who want to see some public value come from these things.

Get Involved

Right now, Portland individuals and businesses operate about 2500 access points per square mile, roughly one every 100 feet in any direction. This density is a tremendous opportunity for the people of Portland to create their own ubiquitous, free wifi, by joining with us to turn more of these 2500 access points into internet connections shared with our communities. It's not hard, and Personal Telco is here to help.

We hold fairly large monthly meetings and smaller weekly meetings, in addition to training days, "play days," and other gatherings. We welcome participation in any and all of these events, at any level, from everyone in the Portland area - or anyone at all interested in wireless! Join our mailing list, read the archives, join the live chat, ask questions, come to the meetings, put up your own node; it's easy, and we're here to help things go smoothly for you.

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 - getting up and running might be easier than you think! Personal Telco Project members volunteer to build wireless networks, in hopes of allowing access to everyone around the Portland area. The more nodes that can be sponsored by local businesses and individuals in high traffic areas, and in Portland's many neighborhoods, the more useful the network becomes to everyone.

If you are interested in hosting a node, or know of another person or business which might be willing to donate a little bandwidth and a window ledge for the good of the community, then please, let us know, and let them know about us! Personal Telco Project members are also working to assist and encourage local educational and community organizations to bring wireless networks to those who could not receive access otherwise. Please contact us if you are interested providing public wireless access through your organization.

Infrastructure Replacement Project

A year ago we sought contributions to help fund a project to upgrade the routing equipment at some of our nodes, and many of you contributed, totalling about $3400. Over the course of 2009 we purchased, developed the firmware, and deployed the new hardware, retiring all of our old recycled PCs by the first few days of January 2010. Thank you for your generous donations and for helping us decrease our energy use and increase our maintainability. Hopefully, these devices will quietly work away for years to come.

Thank you!

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