We are an all-volunteer organization building the People's Open Network, a community-owned and operated non-profit internet infrastructure in Oakland.
A mesh network is a network that allows the participants to freely share internet connectivity and build their own community-owned communications. It consists of routers running software that allow them to communicate with other routers around them. People who join the network enable others to be on the network and support net neutrality. Community wireless mesh networks are growing around the world as alternatives to the existing system, creating local 'internets' rather than being dependent on the infrastructure developed by large Internet Service Providers and companies that mine and sell your personal information.
The software we've created is open source and we're using it to develop free internet for Oakland and the surrounding areas. Our mission in building the network is to connect our neighbors, support local businesses, and enable community collaboration and cultural production. In the event of disaster or censorship, a mesh network can be a resilient means of communication and sharing of information.
- Join the email list
- Follow us on twitter and like us on facebook.
- We have weekly hack nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7:30-11:00pm at sudo room. The first three Thursdays of the month are work nights -- help us change the internet!
- Learn more at our general meetings, which are the last Thursdays of every month. We have focus groups and we collaborate on different parts of the project - from design to software development, documentation to community outreach and of course, community outreach and climbing rooftops to mount nodes!
- Chat with us on IRC: #peoplesopen.net
- We generally collaborate on meeting notes at each meeting. Look at our archive of past meeting minutes!
How to Help
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!
- Check out our action items
- Support us with a small weekly donation on gittip, here's how we spend it.
- Send bitcoins to our wallet address: 12RxU4DpLpdWcmEBn7Tj325CCXBwt5i9Hc
- Check out our wishlist, we have requests!
- Come to our meetings in Oakland! (listed above)
- Improve our documentation
- Talk to your community about joining the mesh
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! We're focused on these areas:
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:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Challenges - What sort of challenges and problems do we face?
- 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?
- Checkouts - Who took what gear home.
- Donations - What's been donated to the group.
- Inventory - Continually-updated inventory of our hardware and gear.
- Marketing - Inspiration and links to marketing materials in progress.
- Naming - What do we call ourselves? A lineage of bikeshedding.
- Purchases - Details on our purchases, made by either individuals or through our crowdfunded money.
- Taxes - Filed taxes for the sudo mesh non-profit
We need help improving our documentation about the area and other legalities.
- Legal - we are becoming a 501(c)3 and there are other legalities of wireless networks
- Interviews - we interviewed other experienced meshers
- Other documentation - books, articles, wikis, blog posts.
- Oakland - information and resources pertaining to Oakland community organizations, wireless initiatives, policy and research initiatives
- Municipal projects - examples of progressive uses of municipal networks.
- Decentralized FM/AM radio - Bit of research on adding legal FM/AM transmitters to nodes.
Other Firmware and Networks
There are other meshes around the world that have inspired us to make our own network! They use software from these projects:
- Mesh/Freifunk (germany) - the creators of batman-adv (routing protocol we use) and one of the longest-running mesh networks in the world.
- Mesh/Commotion - a very well-documented project from the Open Technology Institute creating a simple-to-deploy mesh firmware and setup for small community meshes around the world.
- Mesh/San Francisco Mesh projects in San Francisco
- 510pen - East Bay community wireless mesh network spawned in 2009 by Mark Burdett
- Tidepools - Jenny Ryan designed local use cases for a community mobile mapping application built to run on mesh networks.
- Project Meshnet - Extensive wiki on the /r/darknet project, including extensive list of projects coordinating with them.
- Long Range Wifi - Info on the longest-range wifi connections ever made.
- Adafruit's Web IDE built for Raspberry Pi but probably good for editing code on any device and ensuring it is managed with a code repo. By default it uses bitbucket.org but it could probably be configured for Github.
All Sudo Mesh Wiki Pages
|Install Instructions||Overview||FAQ||Minutes||User Research||peoplesopen.net|
|Net Topology||Hardware||Blog||To-Do's||SF Bay Area||network map|
|Presentations||Power||How to Help||Legal||Interviews||code on github|
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