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posted by martyb on Wednesday January 27 2016, @10:27AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the making-connections dept.

In a warehouse basement in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood late last year, a handful of self-taught network engineers gathered to casually discuss how they might make Time Warner Cable irrelevant in their lives.

Toppling—or at least subverting—a telecom monopoly is the dream of many an American, who are fed up with bait-and-switch advertising campaigns, arbitrary data caps, attacks on net neutrality, overzealous political lobbying, lackluster customer service, and passive-aggressive service cancellation experiences that are a common experience of simply being a broadband internet customer these days. The folks at NYC Mesh are actually doing something about it.

http://motherboard.vice.com/en_uk/read/how-a-diy-network-plans-to-subvert-time-warner-cables-nyc-internet-monopoly


Original Submission

Related Stories

Politics: FCC Guards Eject Reporter 37 comments

John M. Donnelly, a senior writer at CQ Roll Call, said he was trying to talk with FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly one-on-one after a news conference when two plainclothes guards pinned him against a wall with the backs of their bodies.

Washington Post

“Not only did they get in between me and O’Rielly but they put their shoulders together and simultaneously backed me up into the wall and pinned me to the wall for about 10 seconds just as I started to say, “Commissioner O’Rielly, I have a question,” Donnelly said Friday.

Donnelly said he was stopped long enough to allow O’Rielly to walk away.

Los Angeles Times

Donnelly, who also happens to be chair of the National Press Club Press Freedom team, said he was then forced out of the building after being asked why he had not posed his question during the news conference.

O'Rielly apologized to Donnelly on Twitter, saying he didn't recognize Donnelly in the hallway. "I saw security put themselves between you, me and my staff. I didn't see anyone put a hand on you. I'm sorry this occurred."

Politico

According to the publication for which the reporter works (archived copy),

Senators, including Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, are warning the Federal Communications Commission about its treatment of reporters after a CQ Roll Call reporter was manhandled Thursday.

“The Federal Communications Commission needs to take a hard look at why this happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. As The Washington Post pointed out, it’s standard operating procedure for reporters to ask questions of public officials after meetings and news conferences,” the Iowa Republican said. “It happens all day, every day. There’s no good reason to put hands on a reporter who’s doing his or her job.”

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  • (Score: 2) by Justin Case on Wednesday January 27 2016, @10:53AM

    by Justin Case (4239) on Wednesday January 27 2016, @10:53AM (#295219) Journal

    I have wanted this for a long time. Not just peer-to-peer endpoint file exchange, but actual peer-to-peer networking.

    The article mentions the drawback of needing a funnel onto the real Internet, because usually you're not sending a packet to your next-door neighbor. The solution seems to be an access point with a multi-mile range. Not sure that's still peer-to-peer.

    Anyway, however the details shake out, if it ends up working and letting little guys bypass the corporate-NSA chokehold, you can bet it will be illegal soon.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27 2016, @11:13AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27 2016, @11:13AM (#295225)

      The solution seems to be an access point with a multi-mile range.

      Really.....

      WiMAX as "a standards-based technology enabling the delivery of last mile wireless broadband access as an alternative to cable and DSL".

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WiMAX [wikipedia.org]

      Maybe you should have "want"ed WiMAX while it was still commercially available. Instead of letting it die, like you did.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by isostatic on Wednesday January 27 2016, @11:27AM

      by isostatic (365) on Wednesday January 27 2016, @11:27AM (#295229) Journal

      Wireless ISPs aren't exactly unknown. Feel free to set one up.

      http://m.theregister.co.uk/2003/02/27/become_a_wireless_isp/ [theregister.co.uk] From 13 years ago may interest you.

      The issue with hopping from AP to AP isn't the routing (just assign everyone a subnet and run a routing protocol), the issue is the massive latency, loss, and complete lack of privacy that would emerge.

      Most wisps will go for a single wireless hop, or have very well specified directional backbone links.

      What you're talking about has been trivial and cheap for over a decade

      Here's a similar idea in Cuba from more recently.
      http://m.theregister.co.uk/2015/01/26/secret_cuban_network_breaks_government_ban/ [theregister.co.uk]

      • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Wednesday January 27 2016, @05:06PM

        by richtopia (3160) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 27 2016, @05:06PM (#295411) Homepage Journal

        There has been a lot of work on this type of infrastructure, particularly in the developing world (cheaper to add towers than run copper).

        There are a number of mesh networking protocols https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesh_networking [wikipedia.org] that are designed for this type of application. However the logistical issues are huge, and many projects are nitch or a work in progress.

        Here is a website dedicated to wireless networking in the developing world:
        http://wndw.net/ [wndw.net]

        • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Wednesday January 27 2016, @05:47PM

          by isostatic (365) on Wednesday January 27 2016, @05:47PM (#295430) Journal

          There has been a lot of work on this type of infrastructure, particularly in the developing world (cheaper to add towers than run copper).

          Nobody runs copper any more, it gets nicked.

  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27 2016, @10:57AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27 2016, @10:57AM (#295220)

    Except there isn't any monopoly. You have at least four mobile carriers to choose from, and you choose cable. Because you're fucking stupid.

    "But it slow slow slow slow slow slow slow slow slow slow slow," you whine.

    Really? How about you install AdBlock? You know AdBlock. You love AdBlock. Fucking use it, whiner, and stop watching video ads, you moron.

    "But it still slow slow slow slow slow slow slow slow slow slow," you whine.

    Really now. 2 Mbps is fast enough for me! Why are you such an entitled whiny asshole millennial? Oh sorry, "entitled" and "whiny" and "asshole" and "millennial" are all synonyms, aren't they.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27 2016, @11:40AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27 2016, @11:40AM (#295230)

      Cavemen were fine with 0 Mbps. Just because you like to live in a stone age does not mean everyone else should too.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Bobs on Wednesday January 27 2016, @11:10AM

    by Bobs (1462) on Wednesday January 27 2016, @11:10AM (#295223)

    Interesting article - thanks for posting.

    The US big telco's are monopolistic, rent-seeking schmucks.

    The article also referenced The Free Network Foundation [thefnf.org] which appears to be a good effort. I am considering building a local community mesh network in our town using their tools.

    My best wishes to them all.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27 2016, @12:01PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27 2016, @12:01PM (#295236)

    http://consume.net [consume.net] were trying to do this sort of thing back in 2000 in London - unfortunately I was 60 miles away in the sticks, and also the cost of equipment at that time was prohibitive. Judging by their website nothing ever came of their plans.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27 2016, @01:43PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27 2016, @01:43PM (#295263)

    call it "sasome": the u.s of with the biggest and best ... well anything
    and then they get outed like this DIY solution to get access to their
    ownZ invention (the internetz).

    anyways, cool stuff. however this is pretty much how all mobile
    phone operator started (and won) the telecommunication wars.
    no real physical wire network required, just hop from tower to tower
    and at 850 or 900 Mhz even get good coverage and penetration.

    what, to my knowledge, is really missing is a "hopping" or "variable"
    so-called "default gateway".
    i dont think we have software that can smartly reconfigure the network
    to change the default gateway.
    not even sure how to do it w/ the tcp/ip stack.

    obviously there are multiple entry points to the "real" internet throught the network,
    but which one to chose?
    can these "real" internet gateways talk to each other, like "hey, im defined as 800 Mbps but i am at 70% capacity can i send some of my user requests to you? i will remember that you helped me out."
    -or- "hey i seems i cannot forward traffic anymore. seems my internet uplink is broken, can you help me out?"
    also maybe some hop to the default gateways goes down and then how do you verify this and "route" around this?
    how can you make the intelligence live inside the network, so that no human-pole climbing, resetting and reconfiguring needs to happen ... if a new routing ot cule-de-sac node joins?

    well good luck making time-warner cry : )

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27 2016, @01:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27 2016, @01:50PM (#295269)

      We have software and hardware that does this thing called “routing” handling just about everything you mentioned.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 28 2016, @05:44AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 28 2016, @05:44AM (#295791)

        no not really.
        our "modern" network is very static. oh, sure we can reconfigure it manually
        but the tcp/ip isnt smart, it's just packet switched which is smarter then circuit switched.
        ofc its possible to make a packet switched network smart but we're not there yet.

        i don't think that routers do much talking to each other, that is traffic from router-2-router, not traffic THROUGH routers.
        the routers themselfs dont do much chit-chatting. the possible routes are made and entered through human intervention.

        the mpath software that allows to use multiple uplinks in the same device at the same time is pretty
        cool and the right step in the right direction, but i think it has to be enabled both on the client and server.

        anyways, i would compare the present state of routing to downloading via ftp, but it could be like bit torrent.

        you can try, if you will, to contemplate the hypothetical situation of two willing participating houses, one with a comcast uplink and one with ATandT uplink which are connected to each other through wifi.
        you can "maybe loadbalance" and configure failover but anything more ... good luck.
        for the link loadbalancing the device responsible would have to talk and report to other uplink devices to inform them about this information.
        what we have now is just round robin and weighted , ex. 30-70, load-balancing.
        also no word on the uplink devices talking to each other and figuring out by themselfs which link is faster to facebook or youtube and routing request according to that latency metric.

        normal people without access to real networks cannot play and experimemt with this thus the development of new routing and network paradigmas is stuck to "old fart teaching at university" mentality and not "born in a garage".

        the merits of "static routing" and "ospf switching" is that it's easy to bill, that is to able to tell who owes who how much money...

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27 2016, @04:09PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27 2016, @04:09PM (#295372)

    Until you either have a wireless router every 100 meters, or something higher power that can transmit for miles (guess what! anything practical needs a license! Funny how it's all back to state licensing, isn't it?), you haven't achieved your goal and can't stop paying for your internet.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27 2016, @04:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27 2016, @04:44PM (#295392)

      That is one of the problems I quickly ran into when I was trying to do mesh. It is lack of users. It is a big one.

      For a mesh like this of this power rating to work you need LOTS of users. Like along the lines of what you are saying 1 every 100-200 feet. Think thousands and thousands for a small city.

      The other problem was over saturation of particular nodes. The third was what I called 'jerks'. How do you deal with a jerk who also is needed to be a lynchpin in a network?

      It *could* work. But the problem is lack of understanding for most people and apathy.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27 2016, @04:40PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27 2016, @04:40PM (#295388)

    I'm in Cambridge MA and wish I could find people interested to start such a project. It makes me think there is an opportunity to keep a register of people interested by geographical area.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 28 2016, @02:26AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 28 2016, @02:26AM (#295719)

      I'm in Cambridge MA and wish I could find people interested to start such a project. It makes me think there is an opportunity to keep a register of people interested by geographical area.

      Here in the Corporate States of America, that register is called a "terrorist watchlist."

  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday January 27 2016, @11:08PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday January 27 2016, @11:08PM (#295640) Journal

    This is the news I have been waiting for for years. I am all over this. I am so tired of Time Warner Cable, which is weirdly the only possibility in my little corner of Brooklyn.

    These guys in Red Hook are right down the hill from me in Park Slope; I am definitely jumping onboard with them. I know next to nothing about networking, but I'll happily learn to gain that measure of freedom.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.