Saturday, April 01, 2006

Ownerless Mesh Wireless Business Proposal

First I try to explain mesh wireless but this might be a better way to explain it fully.

Here is what microsoft wrote about it:

Community-based multi-hop wireless networks is disruptive to the current broadband Internet access paradigm, which relies on cable and DSL being deployed in individual homes. It is important because it allows free flow of information without any moderation or selective rate control. Compared to the large DSL and cable modem systems that are centrally managed, mesh networking is organic -- everyone in the neighborhood contributes network resources and cooperates.

My idea is to make mesh networks that are ownerless but maintained by communities with the help of a lead organization. As far as I know the first use of the term "ownerless networks" was in this pdf document about one of its problems.

My plan to build an ownerless network would look like this:

A lead organization secures a large loan to turn around and re-lend to build the network. Dividing up the large loan in to small loans the non-profit actually issues the smaller loans to the members of a community. The loan terms given to the members of the community are that the loan will be paid off in two years at twenty dollars a month per each participating community member. Why will the members of the community want to take out the loan and what will it pay for? The loan buys the relays antenna/transmitter/installation/internet-gateway-access, and up keep for the first two years. After the first two years the community's main ongoing costs will be to keep the internet-gateway-access. After those first two years the community costs associated with the network could be as low as 50 dollars per year per individual member. The network can be fast enough to support voice, video, and traditional internet traffic. The non profit should not be thought of as a utility because it is merely lending the cash to implement the ownerless network for the community.

Still not sure how this would work? Listen to this audio clip brought to to by or read on.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Questions about the plan:

Q0.1) What do you mean business plan? Isn't this an organic non-profit technology?

A0.1) A business plan is a plan of action in this case. The problem with implementing mesh networks right now is that you can't call up the telephone company or cable company and say come hook up our ownerless mesh network. Companies are setting up mesh networks but they are owned.

Q1) "...Someone is going to have to pay for bandwidth to the outside world. Unless you have a worldwide network that is 'organic' you're going to be saddled with huge costs if you charge only $50/year."

A1)The plan calls for more initial costs and $50 per year are the on going costs. "Internet-gateway-access" is referred to in the plan and you used the term "bandwidth to the outside world" to describe the same thing. The mesh would contain data that many people commonly go on the internet for so that reduces the demand to connect to the outside world. But you are right, it costs money to get what the mesh can't provide. There are many people in the mesh so outside mesh needs are met together and 50 dollars a year from a bunch of people would provide plenty of that bandwidth even for the most bandwidth hungry neighborhood. Granted, there will not be dedicated T1 connections for every member...but if you think about the whole neighborhood's demand combined at any one given time it is a much more efficient network approach to network design. Simply put, this approach can meet the demand through fewer outside connections, but with larger pipes, at a much lower overall cost. The numbers are still not a science yet but you can see how it will be vastly cheaper than cable/dsl

Q2)"So how do you make money from it exactly?"

A2)The plan calls for a non-profit charge money to pay people to install it and run the whole opperation...but it is not about making a ton of money because it is designed to bring low cost communication to people! Some money may be provided from local business who want to be partners like is done with public television or from area specific classifieds.

Q3) How many people would be allowed on?

A3) Free trials could allow people on as long as they didn't add up to a number which would stretch the network to its break point. Long before the break point would be reached further backbone would be deployed. All issues about who would manage and so forth would be handled by the non-profit which would have to be staffed with competent tech people. I don't want to pretend that would be me. I do however see great potential because I know there are many companies setting up private and public mesh networks which work. The missing element for an ownerless network is an organization which pushes the network on to the front stage and organizes its deployment.

Q4) When ever I read about wireless "line-of-site" seems to be the main problem, how is this different?

A4) All the people who are a part of the mesh extend the reach that much further by creating more links in the mesh...that is where hops come in. Traditional wifi can never travel as far as series of hops in a mesh network can take your signal. Those hops can travel around a tree...its the only way to get to the other side!

Q5) Aren't you just reiterating other peoples ideas?

A5)What's new about my idea is packaging mesh to look more like cable/dsl for the consumer while still stressing it's great new potential. Another new thing is how we would get saturation by pre-sign up.

Q6) You are talking about a high concentration of participants per neighborhood aren't you?

A6) Yes there would have to be a minimum level of participation to make it work. That is why having "YOU ARE THE NETWORK" is the only way to make an ownerless network because as the lead organization YOU ARE THE NETWORK provides the package that people are familiar with when they might otherwise order DSL or cable. A new area specific promotional model would let people see the benefits of switching to the mesh and away from dsl/cable. DSL/CABLE will soon become known as "DiSLable" and in it's place will rise YOU are the network!

Are you ready to advance the business proposal? Use the email link to propose how you can help get this going.

BLOGGER.COM limits comments to 300 words or maybe it's emails or is it both?...that is weak especially since google owns it.

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