Motherboard announces a neutral, meshing community ISP based at Vice's Brooklyn headquarters


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/15/community-mesh.html


#2

Whew, I was particularly worried about how affluent New Yorkers were going to weather the heightened distinctions of the Trump administration! I guess we’re cool now?


#3

Countdown until the conservative-dominated FCC that supposedly wants to increase competition and cut red tape on behalf of consumers finds a way to shut this community network down on behalf of its crony corporations.


#4

There’s also the thing of those enterprise grade connections costing rather a lot of money, depending on who you are connecting to and how fast…

Cynicism aside, I actually want to see this succeed, and spread to other major cities.


#5

This article has no details on implementation. It is so light on content, I question whether it is even real.

Things people might want to know:

  1. What is the mode of access (specialized client, regular wifi)?
  2. Is it a dynamic peer to peer network or something else?
  3. Is encryption used?

Not asking for the complete specs, but something more than “we are planning to do this.”


#6

I see what you did there.


#7

Probably not. VICE is hardly a stranger to publicity stunts that go nowhere.

Not to mention, even if it is real, we’re talking about an outlet where their rap-sheet includes CEO/EICs sending date rape drugs to male advertisers, knowingly hiring alleged rapist and known sexual predator Terry Richardson(he was found out in 2004-5 or so, and they worked with him right up until 2010) and putting him in a position to continue his predatory behavior, literally selling content and editorial control of it to advertisers for about 30K, no separation between ads and editorial including writers having to censor stories about advertisers or prospective clients, making a big announcement about transparency and then immediately firing a bunch of people while trying to keep it secret as possible, burning sources through incompetence, plagarism, making up stories whole cloth, I could go on. For quite some time, in fact.

With a record like that, even if they did make a mesh community ISP, I wouldn’t connect to that shit if you paid me. At best they have proven themselves to be blindingly incompetent and rather careless, at worst, they’d sell you out for profit in a hot second. Well, actually at worst, just think of all the nasty things someone with less than nice intentions can do with root access and a pretty direct connection to your computer+internet connection, but I don’t have the technical expertise to even imagine the extent of the very profitable damage they could cause that way.


#8

I don’t know of any, but I know little about VICE. Can you explain your aspersion, like, to another person who wants to hear your POV on their past?


#9

Well, for example, the time they claimed to have had a long interview with Kim-Jong Un, and teased it as part of their documentary on north korea and their show at the time(or was it a doco? Can’t recall), as a publicity stunt. Of course, the time for publication came, and…nada. Nothing. Goose egg. The entire thing was a lie. They never even saw the guy in person, let alone interviewed him.

Or, as part of the same series, where they pulled a stunt, where they surreptitiously filmed themselves paying a bribe to North Korean officials, to avoid being arrested and vanishing, never to return…Except, it was all bullshit. They were just paying their regular tour fee, that pretty much all NK tourists pay, and they were in one of the few areas where filming is allowed.

Edit - If you want to read a whole hell of a lot more, there’s an excellent Medium series by Documentary filmmaker Daniel Voshart, called NotVice.


#10

VICE can run this essentially as a “charity” or tax loss. The thing is you have identified the real flaw in this sort of thing, there are running costs to running an ISP even above and beyond bandwidth and capital costs of building out infrastructure even for the uplink area of a mesh network.

In theory cities could do this with tax and or low cost subscription funding and are probably better placed to do so in some areas because really running ISP connectivity only w/o services bundling is rarely going to sustain a business on its own.


#11

We are Newport Wireless Mesh and we’ve been working on setting up a neighborhood mesh in our low income neighborhood in a small northern Vermont town with fiber optic cable to a neighborhood church as the gateway. We are set to start building–as soon as we raise enough money and this hasn’t been easy. People just don’t get it. But I’m pleased that other projects are going forward. This will help us by making the idea seem not so weird to people with less understanding of the issues. Our Facebook page is Newport Community Mesh Internet.


#12

Sad if it’s not real. But we are—Newport Wireless Mesh, see comment below and visit our website at https://www.newportmesh.net. Also check out Pittmesh in Pittsburgh, PA.


#13

Well, I’m a very long way away from Newport or Pittsburgh - practically halfway around the planet, in fact - but I appreciate you letting me know, both of those projects sound really interesting, I’ll be sure to look them up.


#14

I’ll sign up for any reasonable alternate to Verizon and Comcast. Just build it.


#15

+1. the local municipal governments are actually ideal for helping to offset the costs, because generally, they get to sink the costs to build their infrastructure to begin with. And frankly, if you are running fiber, you run as much dark fiber capacity as you can get away with, because that’s future proofing. However, that’s what the telcos and cable companies are fighting against, which IMHO is detrimental in the long run. (Example: Chattanooga’s city government owns and operates an internet service for it’s citizens.)

My city, for example, provides water, sewer, trash, and natural gas service on one bill, whereas the last house I was at had seperate bills for three of those services.


#16

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