Friday, April 04, 2008

WiFi discussion...

An interesting discussion is emerging and making it a blog post is taking it from running behind the scenes to marvel at the different opinions that each of us may have. A background on where all this is coming from…

A comment left behind by a fellow blogger, Mario Behling, about the "WiFi teacher on Fon site" blog post runs thus,

Bringing Internet access to remote communities and making it inexpensive, accessible and easy to maintain is great. However to my mind I prefer really free wireless freifunk networks in contrast to data collecting companies like fon. I prefer not to be dependent on one company. My dream are wireless networks that act as a public space controlled by the public not by companies - just like a public street in contrast to a shopping mall. It is a question of liberty. Hope we can work together and achieve this goal together. The constant work of the freifunk community all over the world is a fantastic start for doing just that...

Personally, I got an issue with people or companies who claim that their networks are "free" "open" yet in the real sense of the word are instead caching your data, selling your details to third party companies, spamming you and worse still take no responsibility to ensure proper use of their network. Thus leading to very slow connections, virus infections – making the whole idea seem a nuisance!

Free networks are really a great idea but without somebody taking responsibility of how and what the network should be used for, may lead to network failure after a very short period of time! A case in point is when the network gets connectivity problems - who works/responds to these? Who pays for it? Who kicks off users who are out to make other people's lives hell or anti-development people? There are lots of these in the rural communities too. Students as well, are always out experimenting with viruses, new technology, and if your network is built with inexpensive equipment which you wouldn't want to overload with lots of processing-power guzzling programs, then you need someone to occasionally evaluate network performance over a given period. But still, am really pro-free networks since this is the only way to bridge the ever increasing digital divide!

Below is what Peter Kremer wrote explaining his position on being a fan of FON, though it is a direct response to Mario, I will make it available to all of us
I admire the work of Freifunk a lot, and would rather make a mesh network than the Fon thing I am doing now. But the wide open country I live in is not a suitable space for a mesh network. Further more I cope with a lack of young tweakers en hackers to do their share in the work. So for that I stick to the one village I live in. This network I keep alive for 4 years now. The work I do for Fon gives me the possibility to talk to people and influence the way they think about offering WiFi to their guest. Usually we add a free system as well. Sorry to disappoint you Mario, but sometimes you have to go for second best to chance the world a bit.

Well, now you have the whole discussion just as it has been behind the scenes. My question is, what do you think? Leave your comment behind and probably it could be another blog post.

:-) enjoy!