Do you want to help create a community wide wifi network here at Serenbe?
I'm really tired of not having good service here at Serenbe, from both my broadband provider and my cable subscriber -- so a few of us have been hatching a plan to fix that. It's a community mesh network, and they're being built across the country.
If you'd like to be a part of it, click the button on the right to get started. We'll be rolling out the network over the course of the next few weeks as we better determine some of the logistics.
If you're ready to get started, just click the button. Otherwise, there's a FAQ below.
What is a community wide mesh network?
A community wide mesh network is different from a lot of other kinds of networks in that it is wholly owned and managed by the participants of the network. You can read more about community wide mesh networks in the New York Times. Each person that uses the network also has the ability to be a node in the network, making the network stronger and more resilient.
In that Serenbe development may choose to join the mesh network, just like you do, then yes. But it isn't in any way managed by the corporation. That's the whole thing about mesh networks. The ownership and power of the network is at the edges of the network, rather than at the hub. This network is a creation of its participants, and not centralized in any way.
How much is it going to cost me?
The wireless network will be free and available to anyone who wants to use it. We believe that universal coverage in Serenbe is really important, namely for public safety, but also for convenience.
While most people will not need to do anything else other than participate for free, some people may wish to participate in a different way -- by installing a tiny antenna in a window or discreetly in the rear of their house, or some other place that's invisible. These are people who are in houses that are high up, or placed in an area that may connect our different hamlets together. The cost of an antenna is $100, and can be purchased from Clay Johnson. You can signify your willingness to buy an antenna to support this effort in the form.
Our hope is that we can build a network that scales across the currently built hamlets with less than 15 pieces of hardware. Once we have the hardware in hand, we need to install custom software on it that makes the mesh work.
Some people, should they choose to do so, may also link their home internet connections to the mesh. For the time being (more on that later) this is how the mesh will deliver internet access. We do not believe that this will have a strong impact on your home internet connection, as the bandwidth will be throttled such that it's impractical for someone to use it for constant, high-bandwidth activities.
Do I have to do anything?
Probably not. Most people will just get the benefit of participating in the network, and not have to do a single thing other than connect to the network whenever they'd like. However, some people may want to support and participate in the network more. And for those people, they can purchase an antenna, share their network, or even become digital stewards of the network.
What's in it for me?
1. A free, open wifi network for the residents of serenbe and our first responders 2. A backup plan if your internet service provider fails 3. In the event that we lose connectivity for the entire community, we would *still* have connectivity between our houses in Serenbe 4. With the advent of wifi calling in the latest generation of cellular phones, and the various applications available that allow you to make and receive regular phone calls with a wifi network, you may be able to free yourself from your carrier all together.
Where is the mesh starting?
The mesh is currently installed at the Stables and will grow from there, as nodes are added to the network. Therefore, those that live closer to the stables are likely to be earlier connectors to the mesh than those that live farther from it. That said, it's our hope that with enough community participation, we can have every part of Serenbe with a paved road also have wifi by the end of September.
How do I sign up?
At the top of this page, there is a blue button on the right that says "Submit Response." Click that button, and you'll be taken to a form to fill out. Fill out that form, and we will contact you when it's time.
Who is behind this?
Tim Cailloux, Robin Cailloux, Ross Williams and Clay Johnson. We'll be working with everyone to get things started. We're also going to train willing people here to be "digital stewards" -- a great skill for your kids to pick up -- who can help maintain the network over time.
Serenbe Development is not "building" this network, but it's likely they will choose to be members of the network, just like you.
You can learn more at our website. Which is coming soon.