Poor Detroit neighborhoods, abandoned by telcos and the FCC, are rolling out homebrew, community mesh broadband

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/17/equitable-internet-initiative.html


Detroit is basically a live experiment in post-apocalyptic community building, it seems.


Reminds me of a book someone wrote.


How long until the Michigan state government outlaws this wholesale to protect corporate interests?


How dare they steal the King’s signal!


Shh…The jackwagons in Lansing might be reading this. They’ve already removed local regulation over cable TV. They’ve also banned municipalities from building their own cable/broadband systems. All this from the party of “less regulation” who is supposed to be all about “letting the Free MarketTM sort it out.” Don’t give those a-holes any shiny new ideas.


Ha! I came in here to say that.

I just read in TechCrunch about a citizen run mesh network in PR that uses an off-the-shelf device called the GoTenna.


Probably in about 3, 2, 1…


I was gonna ask, “Wasn’t this an episode of The Wire?”

ETA: Because I really think something like this was in an episode of The Wire.

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I love this. It feels like the ultimate in routing around the problem the net was supposed to give us, in this case the problem being lousy telecoms companies and maybe government censorship/surveillance. Since at some point all the traffic has to go out to the wider net presumably you would pipe it through a vpn? How feasible is it to truly scale this up so we can all have a piece of the mesh network pie? Government mandated backdoors in encryption, digital surveillance, firewalls, fibre optic beam splitters, spy agency malware and god knows what else ain’t going away any time soon.


It’s a glimpse into America 2 decades from now.


We have this in the very rural valley we live in near Moab. 100ish residents. Until 3yrs ago there was nothing, cell phones didn’t even work. Then about half of town got DSL.

This spring a local guy put in solar powered microwave link at one end of the valley, with LOS wireless bouncing around in the lower areas. His installers were exmil who set up these things in Afghanistan.

It works like a charm. Costis the same as DSL. Bandwith is 10x.


When my grandparents lived in rural North Dakota in the late 1800s there was a thing called ‘the buckskin telephone’ A tin can phone on steroids, the folks would stretch a buckskin over a frame and mount it in place of a window on the side of the house. A similar installation on the next house and a wire suspended by loops on a series of poles connected the centers of the two skins. You could hear quite plainly everything that was said in the “phone room” in the other house. Which is why the system lasted only a few months.


It’s 20 minutes into the future.

People working on this will be real full stack developers.

Five minutes reading time?

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Cuba got there first:


Came here to say this

The same solution of the people living under a dictatorship

Maybe the’re facing the same problems

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reminds me of the first rural electrical production. farmers banded together to bring electricity to their farms. regulators stomped those co-ops out of existence once the proof of profit existed.

revolution is a wheel.

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