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It's Time to Take Mesh Networks Seriously (And Not Just for the Reasons You Think) | Wired


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The problem is that we are focusing too much on the technical and legal challenges of mesh networking as opposed to the social benefits it might bring in terms of user autonomy and community-building. Or have we not yet realized that we have finally reached a competitive point in communications where we can deploy more than one internet? Instead of trying to create one perfect network that will satisfy us all, we can, instead, choose between several networks to find the one that best suits us.

As has been done with Freifunk in Germany and GuiFi.net in Spain, more mesh networks need to be deployed on an arbitrary basis. This will help establish the basic infrastructure necessary to ensure the autonomy and long-term sustainability of a community-based network structure. One that, in any kind of situation, can connect people and even save lives.

But beyond the internet, the governance model of many community wireless networks could potentially translate into other parts of our life. By promoting a DIY approach to network communications, mesh networking represents an opportunity to realize that it can sometimes be more beneficial for us, as a community, to rely on our own resources and those of our peers than that of centralized authorities. It’s bringing the principles of the internet to our physical lives.

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