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Re: [decentralization] WiFi - What goes around comes around

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  • Julian Bond
    ... Three UK datapoints here that are making this interesting to me. - BT Openworld is promoting WiFi via special offers with a mail order house. If you don t
    Message 1 of 13 , Jul 19, 2002
      Clay Shirky <clay@...> wrote:
      >> And prohibited by the ISP's agreement. (Or if not today, would be
      >> immediately once this takes off).

      Three UK datapoints here that are making this interesting to me.
      - BT Openworld is promoting WiFi via special offers with a mail order
      house. If you don't know, Openworld is a broadband provider and these
      offers are aimed at the home and SME user.
      - BT is intending to get into the paid WiFi hotspot market.
      - There are several broadband providers in the UK (including BT) who do
      not prohibit the use of WiFi.

      Just as in the USA, the convenience and cheapness of Wifi is resulting
      in rapidly accelerating sales of WiFi stuff. The problem or opportunity
      is that there is no idiot's guide to setting this stuff up so that
      you're safe and secure, so most of it gets installed with defaults that
      leave everything wide open. And regardless of whether the Broadband
      provider allows it or not, people are hooking WiFi to their line
      regardless.

      Then I have people asking me how they too can use WiFi for their own use
      and use the laptop in the garden or in bed, while also doing the coop
      thing and allowing occasional use by passers by. But there is no
      solution that I can feel comfortable with recommending. For instance,
      the person exploiting their trust to use their ISPs effectively open
      relay SMTP server to post spam or to download the whole of the Streets
      latest album after they go to bed, could easily be me.

      >Not if its SDSL service. This is the thing about WiFi -- it turns last
      >mile problem into the last cubic acre problem. An SDSL connection,
      >which is designed for LAN deployment, would only have to be shared
      >among a dozen users to make it cheaper than individual ADSL.

      Exactly. And specifically what CoWave are suggesting. You could run a
      broadband line to every street lamp and put a WAP on it. But it would be
      cheaper to put a fat pipe in the middle of the gated community and use
      multiple hops from WAP to WAP to get to the boundary wall. And each
      person who joins in improves the coverage for the next.

      I understand Todd's pessimism, but I'm also increasingly frustrated that
      there's no solutions. And my low level programming skills are just not
      up to scratching that itch so I have to look to others.

      --
      Julian Bond Email&MSM: julian.bond@...
      Webmaster: http://www.ecademy.com/
      Personal WebLog: http://www.voidstar.com/
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    • Darrin Eden
      ... The first cubic acre problem is fun and dynamic yet still a physical reality. One difference eroding the relevance of the land-line contract is the ease by
      Message 2 of 13 , Jul 19, 2002
        >
        >
        >>And prohibited by the ISP's agreement. (Or if not today, would be
        >>immediately once this takes off).
        >>
        >
        >Not if its SDSL service. This is the thing about WiFi -- it turns last
        >mile problem into the last cubic acre problem.
        >
        The first cubic acre problem is fun and dynamic yet still a physical
        reality. One difference eroding the relevance of the land-line contract
        is the ease by which individuals add software extending the fuzzy ends.

        Darrin Eden
      • burton@openprivacy.org
        ... Hash: SHA1 ... Ug... this is a very bad argument. 1. A lot of AUPs allow this. (Speakeasy is one of the better examples) 2. I would argue that it is
        Message 3 of 13 , Jul 19, 2002
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          Johannes Ernst <jernst@...> writes:

          > I think you almost mention the answer to your question yourself:
          >
          > At 13:44 +0100 2002/07/19, Julian Bond wrote:
          >
          > >It feels like there's a window of opportunity here for a mass market
          > >Wintel and/or Mac WiFi pack that solves the home users setup, firewall
          > >and access problems while making it easy for them to share their
          > >bandwidth (because it's cool).
          >
          > And prohibited by the ISP's agreement. (Or if not today, would be immediately
          > once this takes off). This is not primarily a technical problem, it's one of
          > revenue. If people share things (pipes) that other people charge for, those
          > other people will make sure they don't lose money through the sharing. And,
          > for better or worse, no one whose revenue would be threatened (mostly telcos)
          > has any financial breathing room right now to watch eroding revenue, or even
          > the danger of eroding revenue.

          Ug... this is a very bad argument.

          1. A lot of AUPs allow this. (Speakeasy is one of the better examples)

          2. I would argue that it is unethical to prohibit sharing of a resource. This
          would be akin to Dell prohibiting me from allowing you to use my laptop.
          Civil disobedience; they can't enforce this and if you think it is unethical,
          share away.

          3. If the bandwidth is allocated correctly it will not harm the ISP (which is
          what they are most concerned with).

          4. You would only be *helping* the ISP by driving *more* traffic through them
          which would require more expensive pipes. At least in San Francisco we are
          exploding into a vacuum WRT the amount of bandwidth we need. If we can scale
          this linerally we will need more pipes to the Internet...

          <snip/>

          Anyway.

          Kevin

          - --
          Kevin A. Burton ( burton@..., burton@..., burton@... )
          Location - San Francisco, CA, Cell - 415.595.9965
          Jabber - burtonator@..., Web - http://www.peerfear.org/
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        • Johannes Ernst
          At 15:25 -0700 2002/07/19, burton@openprivacy.org wrote: ... I don t like it either ;-) But there s a lot of economic and plain old cash-flow
          Message 4 of 13 , Jul 19, 2002
            At 15:25 -0700 2002/07/19, burton@... wrote:

            <snip/>

            >Ug... this is a very bad argument.

            <snip/>

            I don't like it either ;-) But there's a lot of economic and plain
            old cash-flow issues that are very real right now and that we need to
            keep in mind even if we are techies. Exhibit A: take any balance
            sheet of any telco and figure out what you would do to their business
            model so that the next quarter's figures include a reduction in
            outstanding debt.

            What I'm really trying to say is that we need a package solution
            (when opened, both technology and a business model fall out) that
            help meet some of the unmet wireless demand as outlined in this
            thread, but also increase telco revenue. If it doesn't do that, I
            think it will have little chance for success. Exhibit B: inventory of
            recent lawsuits where the revenues of big companies were threatened.

            At least I'm arguing that win-win is usually easier to get done than
            I-win, you-lose ;-)
          • burton@openprivacy.org
            ... Hash: SHA1 ... No! :). This would mean they would be selling more SDSL lines :) Right now it is bad for them because a lot of the 802.11b users are taking
            Message 5 of 13 , Jul 19, 2002
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              "J. Fritz Barnes" <barnesjf@...> writes:

              > Hi Kevin,
              >
              > I don't understand your point 4. Wouldn't requiring more expensive pipes be
              > a negative for the ISP?

              No! :). This would mean they would be selling more SDSL lines :) Right now it
              is bad for them because a lot of the 802.11b users are taking up the extra
              bandwidth not used by normal customers. Once this is gone people will need to
              buy more lines from them.

              > What does exploding into a vacuum WRT bandwidth mean?

              A lot of this tech is 'exploding into a vacuum'. No matter how much bandwidth
              you serve up there will always be a need for more.

              SF is especially sensitive because there are so many people with computers here
              and the city really lends itself to deploying 802.11b everywhere.
              <snip/>

              Kevin

              - --
              Kevin A. Burton ( burton@..., burton@..., burton@... )
              Location - San Francisco, CA, Cell - 415.595.9965
              Jabber - burtonator@..., Web - http://www.peerfear.org/
              GPG fingerprint: 4D20 40A0 C734 307E C7B4 DCAA 0303 3AC5 BD9D 7C4D
              IRC - openprojects.net #infoanarchy | #p2p-hackers | #reptile

              If you play with fire, you might get burned. If you eliminate fire, you will
              never feel it's warmth and never enjoy it's illumination.
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            • Tony Kimball
              ... Hash: SHA1 ... An interesting (to me) point which this statement suggests: Broadband in rural American is hard to get. (I discount satellite due to
              Message 6 of 13 , Jul 20, 2002
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                On Friday 19 July 2002 19:03, burton@... wrote:
                >
                > SF is especially sensitive because there are so many people with computers
                > here and the city really lends itself to deploying 802.11b everywhere.

                An interesting (to me) point which this statement suggests: Broadband in
                rural American is hard to get. (I discount satellite due to dramatic
                asymmetry and enormous latency.) Usually, if it is available, there is a
                monopoly, and monopoly pricing. Now if wifi MANs cut off the telco
                metropolitan cash cows at the udder, they will be driven to compete for
                the remaining rural markets. Thus peerwise wifi may well prove the
                unexpected source of broadband universality, by means of secondary
                consequences.
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              • Todd Boyle
                The issues you guys are discussing are exactly the right issues, IMO. I and some others, have been developing a lot of these ideas on the mailing list at
                Message 7 of 13 , Jul 20, 2002
                  The issues you guys are discussing are exactly the right issues,
                  IMO. I and some others, have been developing a lot of these ideas
                  on the mailing list at seattlewireless.net and I would *really*
                  appreciate your joining! Seattle and BAWUG welcomes these
                  threads and I would be perfectly happy to post here. But the
                  topics are not short or meditative.

                  TOdd

                  At 01:06 AM 7/20/02, Tony Kimball wrote:
                  >On Friday 19 July 2002 19:03, burton@... wrote:
                  > >
                  > > SF is especially sensitive because there are so many people with computers
                  > > here and the city really lends itself to deploying 802.11b everywhere.
                  >
                  >An interesting (to me) point which this statement suggests: Broadband in
                  >rural American is hard to get. (I discount satellite due to dramatic
                  >asymmetry and enormous latency.) Usually, if it is available, there is a
                  >monopoly, and monopoly pricing. Now if wifi MANs cut off the telco
                  >metropolitan cash cows at the udder, they will be driven to compete for
                  >the remaining rural markets. Thus peerwise wifi may well prove the
                  >unexpected source of broadband universality, by means of secondary
                  >consequences.
                • B2P Info
                  Isn t Mesh Networks at work on this as well? They seem to have something going on with Fujitsu America. http://www.meshnetworks.com/ Regards, Luis
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jul 22, 2002
                    Isn't Mesh Networks at work on this as well? They seem to have something
                    going on with Fujitsu America.
                    http://www.meshnetworks.com/

                    Regards,
                    Luis
                    ___________________________

                    Biz2Peer Technologies
                    Llacuna, 162
                    08018 Barcelona, Spain
                    Tel. +34 93 401 9656
                    Fax. +34 93 300 9015
                    www.biz2peer.com
                    ___________________________


                    -----Mensaje original-----
                    De: tappnel [mailto:app@...]
                    Enviado el: viernes, 19 de julio de 2002 21:21
                    Para: decentralization@yahoogroups.com
                    Asunto: [decentralization] Re: WiFi - What goes around comes around


                    On the topic of WiFi, I thought I'd share this article from InfoWorld
                    on MOTERAN (Mobile Telecommunications Radio and Relay Network). Its an
                    interesting concept to watch to see what its potential and
                    shortcomings are. <tim/>

                    DEMOCRATIZED WIRELESS
                    http://www.infoworld.com/articles/op/xml/02/07/15/020715opwireless.xml
                    Posted July 12, 2002 01:01 PM Pacific Time

                    THE BRIEF DESCRIPTION of the technology sounds like
                    something from a science-fiction movie where the
                    robots take over: Mitsubishi says it will offer a
                    wireless LAN technology that is self-organizing,
                    decentralized, and capable of reconfiguring itself
                    without the aid of access points and access servers.

                    Even the name sounds like one of those monsters from a
                    Japanese movie. No, it's not Mothra this time; it's
                    MOTERAN (Mobile Telecommunications Radio and Relay
                    Network) that is threatening complete world domination.

                    To take some of the mystery out of it, MOTERAN is based
                    on relay networks, which appear to be gaining traction
                    in the telecom industry because, requiring fewer base
                    stations and switches, they promise to lower the cost
                    of deployment.

                    Mitsubishi is partnering with Detecon, the engineering
                    and consulting affiliate of Deutsche Telecom, which
                    holds the patent. These two companies will form a new
                    one, tentatively called MOTERAN Networks, to deliver
                    the technology. They plan to roll out the technology
                    for on-campus corporate network use at first, then for
                    home use, and finally for public-access hot spots and
                    emergency backup networks. Eventually, the technology
                    will also be used as a low-cost VOIP (voice over IP) solution.

                    In a nutshell, MOTERAN will allow any client PC or
                    handheld with an IEEE 802.11x card or Bluetooth
                    capabilities to behave as a relay point to communicate
                    with the next terminal down the line and to use this
                    terminal to move packets along to their ultimate destination.

                    As a result, any one of these devices could be the host
                    for Internet access: One person subscribes to an ISP
                    for $20 per month, and everyone can hop across devices
                    until they reach that host and log on.

                    It reminds me of the '60s when everyone's goal was to
                    defeat the "establishment" through fairly harmless
                    guerrilla tactics such as not putting a stamp on the
                    envelope when paying a Ma Bell phone bill. Is this
                    more dangerous? The ISPs might think so.

                    According to a July 1 article in The New York Times by
                    Peter Meyers, AOL Time Warner is already calling it
                    theft of service and has warned its cable subscribers
                    "that operating wireless networks and inviting others
                    to freely share them violated their subscription agreements."

                    Glenn A. Britt, the president of Time Warner Cable, is
                    reported to have said that he had no objection to
                    sharing Internet access within a household but that he
                    did not want it distributed to those outside of the household.

                    It may be called theft of service by some, but when
                    establishment giants such as Mitsubishi and Deutsche
                    Telecom are selling the disruptive technology, it
                    makes it that much harder for providers to fight and
                    for users to resist.

                    Which side are you on? Which side am I on? I don't
                    think taking sides serves any useful purpose at this
                    stage of the game. There is no putting the genie back
                    in the bottle, as they say.

                    What do you think? Send
                    an e-mail to ephraim_schwartz@....

                    ---
                    Timothy Appnel
                    http://tima.mplode.com/

                    --- In decentralization@y..., Julian Bond <julian_bond@v...> wrote:
                    > Back in April of last year I pointed at this.
                    > http://www.ntk.net/2001/04/06/#tracking
                    > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/decentralization/message/2240
                    > The possibility of ad-hoc Wifi wireless networks by turning Access
                    > pointers into repeater-routers with dynamic routing as opposed to
                    the
                    > SeattleWireless approach of doing similar with fixed routing
                    tables. I
                    > got a generally cool reception.
                    >
                    > A few days ago, I came across this. http://www.cowave.com/ These
                    people
                    > are proposing mesh WiFi networks linked into cells with each cell
                    fed by
                    > a fat pipe from an ISP. The network is "owned" by the ISP and the
                    ISP
                    > avoids last mile delivery costs and problems by leveraging the
                    installed
                    > base of users to get the coverage. The more users in a cell, the
                    better
                    > the coverage. They're talking about 5000 users and 150 sq mile
                    cells.
                    >
                    > ISTM that this approach is ripe for subversion and further
                    > de-centralization. Adding multiple exit points onto the internet
                    (the
                    > user's broadband connections) might provide more resilience, anarchy
                    and
                    > perhaps could aggregate everyone's bandwidth together for short term
                    use
                    > by a proportion of the membership.
                    >
                    > Now the US is shipping >1 million WiFi devices per month. Europe is
                    > ramping up fast to match it. The hardware costs have dropped to
                    minimum.
                    > So why is it taking so long to happen? A lot of this stuff was
                    talked to
                    > death 2 years ago. But the few open software projects feel like
                    they've
                    > stalled. And things like NoCatAuth which are desperately needed,
                    are
                    > Unix only. Meanwhile people are putting in home WiFi APs and
                    leaving
                    > everything on default, effectively wide open.
                    >
                    > It feels like there's a window of opportunity here for a mass
                    market
                    > Wintel and/or Mac WiFi pack that solves the home users setup,
                    firewall
                    > and access problems while making it easy for them to share their
                    > bandwidth (because it's cool). And if that gets put together, it's
                    a
                    > great trojan horse for building WAP to WAP to WAP to ISP MANs.
                    >
                    > Especially if the majority of file trading, gaming, swarmcasting
                    and so
                    > on, never leaves the WAN and therefore never appears on the ISP's
                    radar.
                    > But that's another story children, and we won't talk about that one
                    in
                    > front of the adults.
                    >
                    > --
                    > Julian Bond Email&MSM: julian.bond@v...
                    > Webmaster: http://www.ecademy.com/
                    > Personal WebLog: http://www.voidstar.com/
                    > CV/Resume: http://www.voidstar.com/cv/
                    > M: +44 (0)77 5907 2173 T: +44 (0)192 0412 433


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