What does it mean?!
Imagine if the wifi router in your home connected to the wifi routers in your neighbours' homes and they again connected to their neighbours to form a huge free wireless network spanning the city! That's exactly what a mesh network is, or at least what it can be. Roads and telephone poles are owned by government or private interests and laying down cable is expensive, but by using wireless signals that hop from building to building we can create a community-owned and -operated, free-as-in-freedom alternative to corporate Internet Service Providers. Community wireless mesh networks are growing around the world, creating local 'internets' that support Net Neutrality and community control of critical infrastructure.
We are spending a lot of time developing software to make it cheap and easy for anyone to be participate in cooperative communications infrastructure, regardless of technical skill.
Who are you?
sudomesh is a group of volunteers operating out of the sudo room hackerspace at the Omni Commons - a collective of collectives stewarding a large community space in Oakland, California. We develop software and assemble hardware systems to help build open community networks like the People's Open Network, a community-owned and -operated non-profit internet infrastructure in Oakland. We are all unpaid volunteers building open technology that helps to connect our neighbors, support local businesses, and enable community collaboration and cultural production. In the event of a natural disaster or state censorship, community mesh networks can be a resilient means of communication and sharing of information.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Decisions - What decisions have we made, and why?
- Funding - How the heck do we fund this thing?
- Legal - How do we use exit nodes, relays and legal structures to protect node owners and ourselves?
- Hosting - How are we hosting and what does it cost?
- Backup - How do we handle backups?
- Server Security - How do we ensure server security?
- Meeting Minutes - Notes from our weekly meetings dating back to January 2013.
- Taxes - Filed taxes for the sudo mesh non-profit
Building a community-owned and -operated wireless mesh network in Oakland, California and beyond!
Disaster-resilient communications network powered by the sun.
Instructions for building your own internet, plus a global directory of community wireless mesh networks.
Upcycling retired/donated laptops to those who can't afford them.
How To Participate
If you want to join the mesh you'll need a mesh router at your home! Currently the best way to get one is to show up at our monthly general meeting as described above. We need more people on the network to improve the quality of the service. When you setup a node, you improve the service for everybody on the network and give more access to your community. We encourage participants to ask their communities to join their networks and create distributed services for them. We have a user guide to help you get on the network!
- Chat with us on RocketChat, the #peoplesopen channel in Secure Scuttlebutt, or on IRC: #peoplesopen.net (see also IRC Intro)
- Join the email list
- We have weekly meetings every Tuesday from 7:30-9pm at sudo room. We have focus groups and collaborate on different parts of the project - from design to software development, documentation to hardware hacking, community outreach and climbing rooftops to mount nodes!
- Come to our weekly Tuesday meetings in sudo room. The first three Tuesdays of the month are hack nights where we work (often in parallel) on everything from pamphlets to maps to code. This is a good opportunity to find someone familiar with the ins and outs and ask questions. The last Tuesday of the month is a more structured recap meeting, where we follow an agenda, get updates on what progress was made in the last month, and plan for the next month.
- We generally collaborate on notes at each meeting. Look at our archive of past meeting minutes!
- Contribute to the network by installing a mesh node at your location using our handy Mesh Node Setup Walkthrough. This is especially helpful for those who are within range of an existing node (seen as a wireless SSID named "peoplesopen.net").
- Check out our ToDo list
- Support us with a small monthly donation on Patreon, here's how we spend it.
- Send bitcoins to our wallet address: 12RxU4DpLpdWcmEBn7Tj325CCXBwt5i9Hc
- Check out our wishlist, we have requests!
- Improve our documentation
- Talk to your community about joining the mesh - here are some resources for doing so!
- Follow us on twitter and like us on facebook.
We need hardware and software engineers to help us with our code. We have an overview of technical documentation that will be helpful in understanding the network.
If you want to immediately help, check out our code, look at our remaining issues for upcoming milestones, report any bugs or help us squish them!
Here are some of the projects that need attention:
We need artists and designers to make things look nice! We have design schemes we already use, but we're always looking to improve it. We need to improve our presentation content and diagrams too! We've been focused on these areas:
- Mesh/Presentations - Past presentations, talks, workshops, tutorials and videos
- Diagrams - Diagrams outlining the network topology and technical stack
- Design - Website & logo design; swag for enthusiasts; and marketing inspiration.