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The Next Step Towards Free Internet and True Open Source

By winthrop.polk ·
This discussion started as a question here:
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Okay, so the new mission of this discussion is to set up a plan to provide practically free internet to the world or to, at a minimum, force ISPs to lower there price to a much lower level which will still be profitable for them (figure $7/month for high speed).
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I think we, as a community of technical experts, can accomplish this. Here is my plan, open for discussion.
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We need to first assume that we will not be able to or even allowed to run any lines across the country. We have to assume the entire communications grid is owned by the telcos and we will have to rent bandwidth from them to connect to all the various sites. But we really only require one fast connection and a wireless system per area. This is the plan on how to get there.
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Step 1: everyone turn off your security features on your home wireless network. Let people access the internet through your line, it's not illegal if you allow them to and you won't be held responsible for their actions. Configure your system to give much higher priority to your computers than everyone else?s, that way you don't experience performance issues but still provide full speed to users when your line is not in use, which is probably the majority of the day.
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Step 2: Local communities need to set up a local infrastructure. New apartments, new neighborhoods, and other local communities should spend some money on a tower and powerful high-speed wireless system to provide free internet to there local communities (figure a 1 mile radius reliable broadcast). The homeowners group or similar organizations could then spend some money for the entire community for one high-speed connection. Security should be disabled at this access point, ideally.
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Step 3: IT fellows should create a freeware program (later to be integrated into windows and OSx) that allows you to dynamically send and receive packets on multiple connections. It needs to detect the networks and determine quickly what routes to take for a given packet.
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I don't know if anyone is familiar with Ham radio, but a lot of the ham repeaters already have this setup. We just need to expand it past the hobbyists. There are allot of free long range repeaters out there, every town has at least one. We need to expand all of these to allow internet traffic, paid for by donations, state/town contributions and such. Home wireless cards will probably require an amplifier and may require you to mount your antenna on your roof.
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I would effectively call this new free global wireless network fgw: free global wireless. In the long run it will take on a life of its own, perhaps creating the breading grounds for a new independent internet.

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Telephony

by winthrop.polk In reply to Free means free...

Well, in terms of telephone communications probably not; but if they had the ability they would be allowed to under the patriot act. Heck, we know that most telephone corporations have already been forced to hand over phone lists; so they know who we call, but maybe not what we say. I can guarantee they are working on this type of software, perhaps using dictation software that can then be searched and sorted. But everything else including email, internet traffic and such, yes, I do think they monitor this. I think they monitored it before the patriot act; it was just illegal at that time. The sad part is that I doubt they are really intending these systems to be geared towards terrorists. They are intended to monitor law abiding citizens who might have dirt on politicians or large corporate entities and are put in place as a means of control. I mean really, do we think that terrorists wouldn?t be $m@rt enuff 2 cood there comms 2 b harder 2 search???? It?s obviously intended to monitor people who would not take this precaution because they don?t think they are going to be monitors since they aren?t terrorists.

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Lets see in 1974 this was happening world wide

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Free means free...

And it's not illegal in any way shape or form. This is not new and even when Digital Cell Phones where introduced they had to be delayed to allow the Listening Technology to be installed and set up correctly.

OH and BTW Telephony means any communication over Telephone Systems so that covers everything from Phone Calls to Electronic transmission and even 128 Bit Encrypted Software couldn't be introduced till the Governments of the World could read it if they wanted to.
This type of thing is always covered by Federal Law never State Law as it is the Federal Government who pays to run these listening posts.

Col

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i think...

by p51mustang23 In reply to Look

Individuals should be allowed to connect directly to the internet without a middleman, if possible. The big companies have way too much power over the net. As technology advances I think there will soon be ways that allow individuals to connect dirrectly to a server; no going through an ISP. And the internet, being what it is, I just dont think they will be able to regulate it forever.

And government survillience of the net? thats scary stuff! However, the only way(imo) to get government out of the internet is to shrink it(gov't) down. Right now all of our data has to travel through the same ISPs.

And if state colleges were free they would go to ****, and taxes would SKYROCKET. But that's off-topic.

Just a side note, but I hear that comcast used to block BitTorrent files from traveling on their network. Sound like censorship?

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Isn't the government working on

by Dumphrey In reply to The Next Step Towards Fre ...

providing internet to all citizens? If through schools or libraries if no where else?
The availability of high speed internet is still almost zero in many rural areas still. So these areas would be left out of the loop.
Lets leave price completely out of the picture and just focus on the HOW.
1) How would we provide a strong wireless signal o remote areas with no high speed access.
2) What technology do we use to connect this web together? Is it its one network with gateways to the internet? Or just large wireless bridges to the internet? Does it piggy back on existing infra structure or need its own, new infrastructure?
3) Who will manage and oversee the maintenance of equipment?

Also, you need to make sure *nix and BSDs are included in your app development.

America is freakin' huge. This project would be ginormous...

Projects like this exist on much smaller scale, the trick is how do you make it scale up to a national level.

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Okay

by winthrop.polk In reply to Isn't the government work ...

I have heard talk of the government setting things up like this, but I think, as expected, they are getting a lot of resistance from ISPs. Rural areas can get high-speed satellite service, but latency is a little ridiculous. With this plan, they eventually wouldn't be left out. Just as hams put up a free for all ham satellite transceiver (which never really worked well) we could do the same for them, eventually. Unimportant though, moving on. I agree, ignore price; it doesn't factor into this thought process.
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1&2) It would take some experimentation and different areas would implement it differently. Usually just install the equipment on an existing tower or build a tower and run an Ethernet connection up to it with additional equipment of course and an ISP service. Network cards currently in use would probably need to be replaced with higher powered equipment on the users end. That?s about it. For really long distances the frequency could be shifted to use atmospheric bounce or installation of more repeaters. To connect the webs, to create a second in depend www if that is an intent, one can use the existing repeater infrastructure and expand it. Currently there is a repeater structure which I believe runs from Florida to Virginia to help hams communicate. There will probably be only one gateway to the internet <u>per area</u>. Existing infrastructure already allows it in certain areas but only for hams and it's currently dialup speeds or, rarely, high-speed which I have seen.
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3) The tower owners which will be a variety of people and groups. When I get my house, I plan to install a ham tower and set this system up. Eventually, when enough of us do this and allow others to connect to it (using there own higher powered transceivers), apartments and communities might do the same to provide internet to the community as an added bonus of signing a lease to attract customers.
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What is *nix? Sorry, I deal mainly with hardware software development and not operation.
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America is huge, and this will take a while. Like I say, this isn't a Manhattan project, but it will build with time. Ultimately, if everyone right now turned of the security on there wireless internet transceivers, we would have 80% of it completed, though in a different manner than originally intended. I realize this won't happen, but there are plenty of insecure wireless access points out there already. It's not illegal to access them, but it is illegal to crack the passwords, which I don't condone.
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I agree, this already exists on smaller scales but still occurs throughout the USA. All we need is a few more ham towers (say 100 more, pulling that number out of my @$$) to set the system up, well and far, and then shift the frequency to a public one not requiring a license and your done.

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*nix

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Okay

is a generic term for a class of similar operating systems: Unix, Linux, BSD, OS X, etc. Dumphrey was pointing out you need to consider non-Windows systems, a small but significant portion of home and SOHO users. Many of those users are already into uncompensated open source software development and so may be more willing to buy into your plan than Windows users.

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.....

by ---TK--- In reply to Isn't the government work ...

"Projects like this exist on much smaller scale, the trick is how do you make it scale up to a national level."

Get a whole bunch of "out of the box" thinkers, in a whole bunch of little areas into one non-profit organization, and have little cells pop up all over the place.... eventually it will be wide spread. Worry about the people on the out skirts later...

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Exactly

by winthrop.polk In reply to .....

Agreed. Eventually it should act like a mesh network. If the mesh gets large enough, you could have an entirely new and independant wireless web with access points to the www.

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A few thoughts.....

by ---TK--- In reply to The Next Step Towards Fre ...

There are a few problems here. Child porn, we cant turn a blind eye to the freaks in this world, that hide in all the small dark places. If they accessed the network, and accessed that crap, it would be tracked back to you! - a Proxy with word filtering, user name and password, and port blocking would take care of this (most of it)....

Also if some butt head decided to try to break through the Gov. firewalls and routers, to access some high security database, the FBI would be at your front door really quick!

Also as far as how much it costs to the actual ISP its more like 2 bucks /per month.... Which was told to me by an actual employee that was fixing the line into my house. They price it so high, because they actually lose money on their IP phone service.... Time warner Cable...

Also you would need to find an ISP to go along with this(would be cheaper in the beginning till you have the right amounts of funds to bang it out)... You could word it to them, providing internet access to those who can't afford it...

In all do reality I think it can be done, but it would have to start out on a very small scale. And you would probably need to set up a non-profit to fund it. So people can donate to that organization, and not you!

I would seriously prefer that it be achieved by citizens vs. the Gov.

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Same boat

by winthrop.polk In reply to A few thoughts.....

Any technology can be used for good or evil. Child porn is evil. But the internet should be free and open. I cannot nor do I want to account for this type of user in this system, though he may use it. The government has that responsibility; I would be messing it up for everyone else who is not an evil person. Besides, child porn was actually more widespread before the internet (lol, okay, I pulled that one out of my @$$ as well, but it is conceivable). It would be a good idea to do a word search on all communications for those key words. I would probably just want to send the user a scary message like ?the FCC is aware of your location and is coming? and perhaps they will find the guy using triangulation. Nothing will ever stop those guys because they are self perpetuating and every equation has more than one solution. They should be brought to justice, however, I do feel that the priority should be to catch the people creating the child porn (which appears to be lost in the governments mission) rather than prioritizing the distribution which will all know, once a video or file is out there it aint ever going away.

The FBI should come to my door if that happens. They should be allowed full access to files and such. But they should not hold me responsible for the public service I provide. If a child molester does his evil things in a park, is the park owner held responsible? No, but he is questioned which is fine with me.

$2/month sounds right; wouldn?t be surprised if it?s lower. That?s one reason I?m pissed because I pay $45/month, which isn?t an honest profit. Who?s losing monkey on IP phone service? That isn?t right. Comcast and AT&T make a profit from it.

Good advice on getting the ISP to go along, at least with your social engineering. But really, all I need to do is call them up and say I need so and so bandwidth, give me a price. That should be it. They don?t really need to know anymore. I have yet to sign any contracts with any of my utilities.

Thanks for the pointers, that post actually helped. It does need to be done on a small scale. I'm thinking I can do it for the Chattanooga area with 1 or 2 70? towers. Of course, only hams currently have the equipment to access it, but I can create a site for local chattanoogians to tell them what to purchase if they want to access, and I am sure some will. Who knows where it will go from there. I agree, this should be a citizen run project. I really do want to provide this for free, but a non for profit donations only company is a great idea to help.

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