Based on the experience in community network building in Athens, Greece, I started a bigger project, aiming to standarised network infrastructure.
The “target” are small to medium sized communities, rural or urban, in need of their own “community internet” — providing not just an access to global services, but the full-blown set of local services: messaging, file sharing, web applications. It is a tool to integrate local community and also a way to build independent virtual space, available even if the external link is congested or down.
This project belongs to “solidarity economy” area and will eventually be run by a cooperative society. It is going to be financially sustainable, so people working there will not need to look for external sources of income. However, all financial surplus will be reinvested in the research and development of community networks.
For official purposes the project will be using https://freedomcoop.eu (until we are ready to register our own Walkaway Coop)
At the moment (August 2017), technical goals are as follow:
- Complete laboratory and testing equipment, as outlined in ToDo List and linked specifications.
- Bring at least two more people into the team: one programmer and one hardware specialist.
- Follow the plan of tests outlined in the ToDo list
- Obtain additional funding to expand the equipment.
- Become subcontractor for network installation and maintenance services with Stin Priza Coop (https://stinpriza.org) which is an anarchist tech cooperative doing mostly webdesign and linux boxes, NOT networking installations.
- Become distributor of major components, especially routers and solar power systems.
- Organize at least one crowdfunded networking project for a community in Greece, as a proof of concept.
Longer run goals
- Develop a laboratory and support team, keeping R&D and problem-solving activity up to date, supporting field teams.
- Deploy several field teams, traveling to various communities and building networks there, making them interconnected as well.
- Eventually move the whole project into separate “Walkaway Coop” ecosystem.
See also our resources in Facebook group.