I remember the forum thread created by Sepp on the Ning and will copy the following message to it.
also see : http://emergentbydesign.com/2011/02/11/16-projects-initiatives-building-ad-hoc-wireless-mesh-networks/
Note : It would be nice if we can find ( or experiment together ? ) an easy way to support the set up of a p2p-mesh / distributed cloud networking , including a model to provide it with internet access.
I would wish for an easy to deploy, easily scalable, easy to self-maintain mesh, with data transparency concerning its self-awareness ( data about the mesh available to all users )
I still have a lot of unresolved questions, and will be happy to introduce you to such questions, or listen to any answers some of you may already have.
What could be an easy to deploy and cheap approach ? And what business model to use, as to connect the mesh to the internet ( this has a cost ).
I notice some of the following "packaged" solutions :
the google supported Meraki Mesh http://meraki.com/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meraki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meraki#Criticism
or , better ? , its open source counterpart Open-Mesh http://p2pfoundation.net/Open_Mesh
Yet even with Open Mesh, I get confused between http://www.open-mesh.com/ and
and ask myself if the "controller" offered in the .com one is open source and gpl ? http://www.open-mesh.com/index.php/dashboard.html https://www.cloudtrax.com/
Can the price of the deployment of such packaged solutions be reduced further ? Reduce its price to that of installing a specific mesh networking software on wifi enabled devices, such as smartphones, laptops, ... as is proposed in the case of the OLPC ( one laptop per child project ) http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Mesh_Network_Details
I also ask myself questions regarding compatibility, or rather, capability to use a variety of communication protocols
I did not test various protocols. I notice that, for a mobile capability ( in case of smartphones and laptops being included into the mesh ? ), a mobile ad hoc protocol may be useful ?
Hence using the "batman" protocol ? Which is used and developed by http://www.open-mesh.org/ ?
This has been discussed earlier on http://p2pfoundation.ning.com/forum/topics/could-peernet-be-separate-from
As of today, end 2011, what solutions would we recommend using for such deployment ?
Yet such protocol would still need to run on a software, hence OpenWRT or a customized version of it such as Commotion ? https://tech.chambana.net/projects/commotion/wiki
OpenWRT seems to be a linux based operating system run mostly on wifi routers, and Commotion seems to be a customized version.
I remember being suggested to do it by flashing a Linksys router ( installing it on the router ) , such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linksys_WRT54G_series#WRT54GL ( Some of these routers can be bought with openwrt linux pre-installed. )
Regarding the business model, I like an approach also taken by Fon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FON
It consists in sharing ones bandwidth with other users, yet it requires to purchase the FON router and use their ( closed source ? ) software running on it...
"To become a Fon member (Fonero) and join the Fon community, you must own a Fonera router or a router with the Fon software built in. This allows you to share a little of your Wi-Fi at home, and in exchange get the right to use other members’ Fon Spots."
What hardware alternatives are there ? Is it preferable to use open source solutions and non bundled hardware ?
WRT54GL and the like routers ? Possibly also combined with Plug PC's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plug_computer for setting up a set framework to which mobile devices can connect and add themselves to as to increase the density of the mesh ?
Are there softwares that could enable the accountancy of internet bandwidth sharing solutions ? Some kind of mutual credit system, but for bandwidth sharing ?
With as business model, to finance the backbone routers hardware purchase and operation, the possibility , as with FON, for non contributing members to buy bandwidth credit ?
Are there existing solutions that can measure as peer contribution, not only internet bandwidth sharing, but bandwidth routing, creating an incentive for people to install a software which includes their device into the routing cloud/mesh ?
Providing Electricity for the Grid-Mesh :
It would be nice to create a synergy, by using the Mesh to facilitate the management of electrical smart grid's, while also providing for its own energy autonomy.
I imagine the wifi routers grid ( on roofs ? ) to be combined with a small horizontal windmill electricity production capability.
Such windmills create almost no noise, and compared to photovoltaic solutions, may require less technologically intensive and difficult to produce materials, as to facilitate their maintenance and reduce dependency on non-local economics and resources on the long term.
They could feed into the main energy grid,
or in case of disconnection from the grid, could feed a battery, that itself enables more continuous provision of energy for the router ?
The battery, ideally, is not polluting and can be DIY produced ? using salt , charcoal , aluminium ? http://www.instructables.com/id/Aluminum-Can-Saltwater-and-Charcoal-Battery/ )