Creating digital networks is mostly a social
Key Aspects: Social & Technical Infrastructure !
Main network anchors are trusted
Solid relationship with technical
support provider from outside of
Community-led design process
emphasizes local needs and
Rapid prototyping of applications
designed for the local area
powered by Tidepools (http://tidepools.org)!
• Social relationships are paramount.!
• The most challenging investment is in the initial organizing
and design phase before any value is realized. !
• Community-designed applications add value to a local
network, even at a small scale. !
• Having relationships and anchor wireless nodes in place prior
to a disaster facilitates rapid network deployment through: !
– Already-established relationships with key community
– A heightened level of technological literacy in the community.!
– Pre-positioned wireless network equipment in the neighborhood.!
Cost of the Network!
Donated labor from local residents and technologist. !
Institutional support from RHI and OTI. !
Hardware (~$50 to ~$85 each router). !
Installation (3-5 work hours for two people per site). !
Bandwidth (donated by RHI, Brooklyn Fiber, and FEMA). !
Training program for local residents to maintain and expand
network as part of a municipal employment program. !
Modular mesh wireless tile
People in or
next to the tile
area can extend
the network by
1/2 to 3/4 mile
(1 unit) Internet Gateway
Connection to the global Internet or point of presence
(point-to-point wireless or fiber-optic backhaul, white
space device, etc.)
(5 to 10 units) Gateway distribution layer
Point-to-point or -multipoint directional mesh
(25 to 100 units) User-facing access points
Omnidirectional mesh wireless nodes mounted on
lightpoles, building exteriors, rooftops, or windows.
The bandwidth delivered to the end user can be up to 50 Mbps, but is
dependent on available bandwidth at the gateway connection. There are
various models for determining how many users can share a given
connection. Each user-facing access point can support up to 25
simultaneous connections, but speed will depend on available
bandwidth at the gateway, interference, and other factors. Engineering
study is required to determine the technical feasibility of each tile.
Community participation is key in determining rooftop anchor sites and
pilot "early adopter" candidates.
Hardware = approximately $25,000
Installation labor = approximately $75,000 to $150,000
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