Re: [gaia] Basic Free Internet Access

Henning Schulzrinne <hgs@cs.columbia.edu> Sat, 05 December 2015 20:56 UTC

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From: Henning Schulzrinne <hgs@cs.columbia.edu>
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2015 15:55:51 -0500
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To: Arjuna Sathiaseelan <arjuna.sathiaseelan@cl.cam.ac.uk>
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Cc: gaia <gaia@irtf.org>
Subject: Re: [gaia] Basic Free Internet Access
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In the US, there is in effect a (near*) nationwide Wi-Fi network, at least
in urban areas, through CableWiFi. There has been discussion about "open in
case of emergency" modes so that non-cable customers could access the APs.
See, for example,

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2013/06/10/cablewifi-expands/2408829/

* not all cable companies participate

On Sat, Dec 5, 2015 at 4:01 AM, Arjuna Sathiaseelan <
arjuna.sathiaseelan@cl.cam.ac.uk> wrote:

> All -
>
> With all the disasters thats been happening these days -- including the
> recent one at Chennai -- people are trying to get connected to the
> Internet. We are now talking to groups in Chennai to put up an adhoc mesh
> to get some connectivity etc - Power is a major problem. But those with the
> power are now trying to open up their own WiFi for others to share..But the
> biggest issue is we are all doing this after the disaster strikes and not
> proactively!
>
> This makes me think, shouldnt governments create some sort of an emergency
> network for such events for people to communicate? So like FON, if
> governments can work with operators and use the existing home access points
> to open up during emergencies - so that people can access for FREE in
> proper isolation without interfering with the sharer - wouldnt this be
> useful? Ofcourse if there is no infrastructure or power then nothing
> happens or people have to use firechat/opengarden if they have already
> installed..
>
> this was the idea behind the Public Access WiFi Service (PAWS) project we
> did here in Cambridge few years ago (
> http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~as2330/docs/dev12.pdf)-- this wasnt greatly
> successful because we didnt target the disaster usecase -- but now thinking
> if such a system indeed existed - this maybe worthwhile including the
> syrian refugee crisis and the refugees wanting to connect and no
> money/credit cards/no credit rating etc..
>
> This solely is not enough - but I think this could also be an enabler
> especially when there are national emergencies..
>
> So the idea is enable all WiFi access points to open up by default
> controlled by the operators with the governments subsidising the
> connectivity during national emergencies. We could probably even mesh these
> access points but I think we would end up needing some long range antennas.
>
>  we could probably do some fancy things like
> http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~as2330/docs/vpun.pdf but lets leave that for the
> moment..
>
> Regards
> --
> Arjuna Sathiaseelan
> Personal: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~as2330/
> N4D Lab: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~as2330/n4d
>
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