Open Waves Survey

Survey made at Ninux Day in Rome. November 2009. By Yann Bona & Efraín Foglia.

Question: FunFeuer Graz: Alexander FreiFunk: Elektra AWMN: Socrates Ninux: Saverio wlan-ljubljana: Mitar
Foundational year: FunkFeuer Graz. 1998. Started as a project. Interested telecom people interested. No wifi to the SE of city (Graz) 2006. BerLon meeting (2002) + antenna workshop FreiFunk (before; Berlin Backbone) Posted Mesh Networking in FF wiki: 2003 friedeshain 2002. 7 years...non for profit association. Ninux 2002. Ninux stands for; No Internet, Network Under eXperiment. 2006 HAIP festival. There was a festival where they met people from funkfeuer. 2004 first node in Osona, countryside of Catalonia, Spain. 2008 foundation
Membership You have to set your own node (otherwise you do not get connection) No formal organisation. FreiFunk is 50% a berlin label + logo. To become a member you buy and connect. Some technical knowledge needed. Not users but creators. If not monitoring their node, they can be excluded from the net. Different levels of membership. Anyone can become member. Everyone can access and attach a node to the network (even without being skilled; they recieve and attend RFI) Not an association. Bottom-up driven. Even people without technical knowledge because of the simple "plug and mesh" process of deploying a node. No subscription is requiered. It's necessary to register on to have complete access to all information and tools available.
sustanability: 7000 Euros x year funding from graz city. Mesh principle. Consume = add node software help each other. Not a formal organisation. Not an association. Bottom-up driven. Donations. Self-produced network, citizens' money, funds of small local authorities. Donations. foundation started with 60,000 €
No. Nodes & Users Today: 20 nodes *graz. 4 cities + 1 550 single cloud. But more cities linked. Half Berlin covered. 3.000 users (devices) peak x day. Largest network with fixed homebuild points. 16.000 registered users. 870 backbone nodes (aprox.), 2400 clients (aprox) 30 to 35 nodes in Rome. Strong community. 28 active nodes. 20.000 clients logged on 1st year. 30-40 peek users simultaneously connected per day in Ljubjana. 8,860 nodes, 3 inhabitants per node = 25,000 users approx.
Composition: Geeks + people undestand social principle and willing to give something to the community. Tech and non-tech guys. More techie people as they expand their network. IT students, developers. 20 to 25 people are software developpers. 5 people form the hard core and then, you have active developers and not-so-active and non-skilled people. (Nevertheless, they perform well with not so many people on the hard core) All kind of citizens. Foundation: 5 people board.
Internet access: Cannot guarantee access to Internet. 4Mbit – 200$ / year. Motivation biggest internet. Experimanetal net at the beginning. Hard to keep experimental when lots of users depen upon it... 99% is Internet use. Problems with fast connections. Shared Internet. Do provide other services (VoIP) Shared Internet Conection. Do provide internal services (VoIP – asterisk, answer machines to mail...) More valuable to have Internet connectity than priorizing speed. Plug and Mesh motto (but open and hackable). Shared Internet Connection. Free connections through proxy servers provided by private individuals, institutions, small companies, anyone.
Free as in... Free spech and no charging fees *only equipement / selling reflash routres *but not making business Free access to Internet, no censorship. Wifi as a social thing... Nodes are open to public (welcome screen – but no login required). Can be used also as an artistic medium. Free access, knowledge, equipment, appropriating technologies, non-censorships, but also free as until you do not break other things... Free access, free speech, free to build open network, free to know how the network is built, free to add services and content into the network.
Relationship w/Public Adm: Notified radio policy about own activities. Ok, unproblematic, even if there might be data retention, it is not implemented. But as we are non/profit entity, no one can force us to do it. Several....pirate party...pirate + freifunk. Lawyers. Become a relevant actor Invited by NRA to respond to consultations. Law does not permit Internet Shared Access. They (government) do not understand who or what we are + we have a lack of trust in Italian Institutions. Sharing Internet connection is not allowed by Italian laws. Wlan-lj is bottom-up driven without any government agency involved in it's deployment, but they do agree to collaborate with organisations and government provided they do so in the same bottom-up manner. In small towns, it is very good, but in cities it is difficult and sometimes impossible.
Content: Can't tell. non/comercial radio city. Suporting festival 99.9 % Internet..... File Sharing, Game Servers, VoIP, VPN servers, Weather Stations, Personal Webpages, Statistics reports... VoIP, servers...+ Internet. Not much (early stages) plus, there are practical reasons (needs) that require our energies. Internet, servidores asterix, web, ftp, radiostreaming, voiceIp, webcams, video juegos, P2p, all posible in networks.
Problems: 120 nodes ;/ have we saturated the community of geeks? (2005/2007) Applying for funding without knowing if we will get it. Manpower. (time...). Fund raisers... orography, will be good to benefit from uhf frequencies there. Attempts on wimax, but still. Try to get funkfeuer to vienna. More usere = more hard to develop tech. Always running a firewall for the sake of safety. People receiving letters; “fishing” IP's. Need of a file-sharing filter on the gateway. Sociophatic people on the net. “Social Issues”: free riders who do not want to work as a team. Indifference on the community. Skills; trained people... For tech problems is easier to find solutions. Bad xDSL service. Bad districution for buying hardware in Italy. Go tell someone that to become part of the network he/she must order something through the internet... Tech problems at the begining (using sveasoft instead of OpenWRT) manually administrarting the network... Lack of active people with technical knowledge who would help others setup their nodes. (hw side of the network...) Financial support from the institutions, ignorance about open networks, fear towards network security, individualism, social selfishness.
Solutions: 5ghz backbone. Select interesting locations. Own Provider for public IP. More users = politicaly wise. Promote File Sharing to expand network. (Pirate FreiFunk) University teaching courses for Wireless Networks. Fusolab as a shop. From linksys to Foneras to Ubiquity nanostations. Created a custom node watcher program. Need to design and code programs with other people in mind so it will be easier to contribute. Reach new people to contribute (solving hw side assistance for the network) Institutional financing, better communication with inexpert people, support from local companies.
Expected growth: Geek comunity saturated. Need for more funding to help put nodes in good locations. Univesrity Vicepresident to get on the roof for some nodes. Result funding, 5ghz equipement, electricity...but took 2 years (bureaucracy). Backbone connectvity for free. Difficulties for growing over 250 nodes Running an open tracker w/ Pirate Bay soft in a mesh (hard to trace back to you...) Increase Free network to use freedom... Have interesting content. Still exist. Increase quality within Internet connections. Keep growing and include non-techie people. Involve more Italian cities. Hope it will be different because new people will develop things. (you do not need to be a developper to develop things). Expect people would upload / share new content. Also add more features to nodewatcher such as: Documentation. Support for more routing protocols. Traffic flow calculation. Cross-plataform desktop faster application. Keep growing. Last year, 243 nodes per month and gradually increasing.
Equipment (hw): Linksys, buffalos, foneras *crap/ rf equipement, alixports, ubiquity extreme range 5 What you can buy. But also because of the firewall, you only see the devices, but not who is using the network... Orinoco to OpenWRT54G(now outdated)... Encourage Homemade Equipement (aerials and cables) Meraki, Open Mesh, Fonera, Ubiquity, routerboards, microtik, Alix... (sometimes they function as a little shop because it is hard to find retailers or even distributors in Italy) Linksys, Fonera. Routerboard for supernodes and wrt, nanostations and other low cost CPEs for clients
Software (maintenance): Olsr (roof/balcony), freifunk,some OpenWRT, Debian on Alix port, home made node db. B.A.T.M.A.N, OLSR, Firewall in FreiFunk Firmware (NAT, Masquerading and Firewalling...), OpenWRT BGP, OLSR, WiND (Wireless Nodes Database) OLSR, OpenWRT OpenWrt, nodewatcher, Django, Trac, OLSR, Linux. Central web site (LAMP) for self-povisioning IPs and configurations for both supernodes and client. Mainly RuterOS for supernodes and dd-wrt, openwrt and airOS for clients.