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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Free Wi-Fi For Philadelphia

A Startup is Using a Mesh Network to Bring Free Wi-Fi to Philadelphia

Bamboowifi plans to expand outward from a city park

DJ Pangburn | January 4, 2016

[Blogger's note: In a mesh network, each node or access point relays data to a nearby node. Such networks have been used in many environments, including the developing world in Africa with the One Laptop Per Child Program. In this way, each participant forms part of the network and carries some of the conversations of other participants in the network.]
Mesh networks are typically seen in areas experiencing natural disasters, political upheaval, or repression, where chaining routers together into a mini Wi-Fi network can provide a secure and low-cost connection. But one such network recently popped up in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Northern Liberties, home to a young and increasingly wired population. It’s called Bamboowifi, and its founders see it as a potential alternative to major telecom providers like Verizon or Philadelphia’s own Comcast.

Mesh network architecture at Peebles valley in South Africa. Source:
<more at; related links: (Bamboo Wifi website) and (Inside Bamboowifi: A sneak peek at the new mesh network on N3rd Street
Here's how David Platt and James Gregory are making free WiFi available in Northern Liberties — and how they hope to grow the project. October 22, 2015)>

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