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[liberationtech] WiFi in Rural Areas

Julien Rabier taziden at flexiden.org
Thu Dec 19 12:28:38 PST 2013


Hello,

Le 19 déc. à 12:04, Yosem Companys a écrit :
> From: Nagarajan M <mnagarajanias at gmail.com>
> 
> I have been reading so many mails in this group for a few months and
> it has been a good learning experience. Now i have a practical issue
> of wireless connectivity that needs a solution.
> 
> What technology is good to cover rural areas with dispersed population
> to provide WiFi in rural areas.

Well, my technology of choice would be ... WiFi itself.
In France, we're several organizations using Ubiquiti antennas to cover rural 
areas. These antennas come with a proprietary firmware by default but some of 
us have made experiment with OpenWRT and observed better result with it.

Usually, we don't setup mesh networks but point-to-point/point-to-multipoint 
backbone networks (at 5GHz freq) and we cover ranges up to 20-30 km.

The wonderful people of Guifi in Spain are doing amazing things with Wifi, 
with 22825 nodes running, see this incredible map : 
http://guifi.net/en/node/2413/view/map

> One suggestion i have got is that LTE tower with a range of 30 km with
> Line of sight visibility can be used.

LTE can be a solution. I'd say it depends on the legal framework in your 
country. In France, LTE requires a licence delivered by the French Telecom 
Regulation Authority : ARCEP and it costs, well ... , a lot of bitcoins.

On the other side, WiFi operating at 5GHz doesn't require any licence. There 
is just a power transmission threshold you have to respect.

> If any of you can give me some idea on the best technology to cover a
> wide area on a low cost using a mesh network, it would be very
> helpful.

As a side note, we've setup a mailing list to discuss DIY/Low Cost Internet 
access deployments internationnally :
https://lists.ffdn.org/wws/info/diy-isp

You're more than welcome on this list, there are people from all over the 
globe taking part.

As a final note, let me place here a little ad for a talk I'll give in some 
days at 30C3 in Hamburg on this subject :
https://events.ccc.de/congress/2013/Fahrplan/events/5391.html

With datalove,
Julien


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