University Mesh Networks

When I read this quick post by Mark Paschal I immediately just chuckled and said out loud, "WiFi".

All dorm students� computers have to be identified before being let out on the big wide Internet.


As Chuck writes, this is to combat �abuse of the [AUP].� I can�t help but read that as �file sharing.� I sure as hell wouldn�t risk being completely identifiable over the dorm network as a file sharing user, because universities kick you out for that sort of thing. ...

I think many Universities aren't monitoring student-to-student usage, just what gets sent out via their connection to the internet. This makes sense. There's no reason for the University to waste real cash on bandwidth for all the pimply faced Britney fans who want the latest album for free. However, it seems to me with WiFi cards getting lower and lower in cost, it's not going to be long before students start circumventing wires all together. Where it will hook up to the rest of the world, I don't know. Someone's ADSL or T1 down the street? SEVERAL people's cable connections?

Whatever. This is the perfect environment for testing the ingenuity of college-age geeks. First they're going to hook up to each other, and make sure that this wireless network doesn't cross over with the school's to prevent them from being nailed, and then secondly they're going to wire into the rest of the world somewhere. All it takes is one connection to the internet and some routing instructions and poof. The cool thing is that maybe this second step will never happen. Maybe the wireless mesh can get big enough it will serve it's purpose without ever touching a landline.

I can't wait to see how this plays out.


30 Seconds later and Jim IMs to tell me that I didn't mention the Locust Meshbox which is a cheap all-in-one wireless router (250 quid, whatever the f*ck a quid is). I had thought about it since I just read the article yesterday, but was thinking more that students would be creating their own solutions with cards 1/10th of that price. Then Jim tells me that you can DOWNLOAD the software for free. Now THAT I didn't know. ROCKING. More info about Locust here.

Thanks Jim!

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