Tag Archive for Internet service provider

Open Source Wireless for Detroit

Open Source Wireless for DetroitDetroit is the proving grounds for a new open source wireless network technology called Commotion. According to FierceWireless, Commotion is a new wireless mesh-networking platform being deployed across Detroit by the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute (OTI).

DetroitThe OTI has completed the first phase of construction of the  wireless test bed in Detroit’s Cass Corridor, where Commotion connects low-income apartment buildings, community centers, churches and businesses. FierceWireless says the prototype open-source network allows neighbors to communicate with one another and can potentially distribute Internet access to local residents, the group says. “The Detroit wireless network … will put control of the Internet into the hands of its users,” said OTI Director Sascha Meinrath. “The partners OTI works with in Detroit are not only self-provisioning connectivity for local residents, they’re proofing out technologies that support free, safe, ubiquitous communications around the globe.”

Open source wirelessStacey Higginbotham at GigaOM reports the new stack has technologies such as Serval, which would enable the handsets to recognize the Commotion network, Tor, a program that can hide where a user is coming from and OpenBTS, an open source base station that runs software that can interface between VoIP networks and GSM radios.

The OTI release on the news notes that more than half of Detroit residents do not have Internet service at home due to the cost of service and a lack of investment in infrastructure by Internet service corporations.

GigaOM also notes that the public release of Commotion follows a funding round for a company called Open Garden, which is pursuing a similar mesh network creation software. Meanwhile Range Networks has formed to support the OpenBTS standard and deliver a “network in a box” that runs the OpenBTS software and allows users to make voice calls anywhere in the world.


George BushAm I the only one that sees the irony that the fed‘s are using Detroit as a proving ground for technologies designed to help take down dictatorships. According to the OTI press release, the U.S. Department of State is funding the Detroit Commotion project to test the potential of the technology in third world places like Egypt or Syria or Detroit.

Don’t worry, we are the government and we are here to help.

Do you think Open Source Wireless for Detroit will work?


Google, Facebook and Yahoo to Test IPv6

A global trial of IPv6 is scheduled for June 8th 2011.  Google (GOOG), Facebook, Yahoo (YHOO) and Akamai (AKAM) will reportedly take part in the IPv6 “test flight.”  The Internet Society, a non-profit group which educates people and companies about net issues is coordinating  World IPv6 Day.  Those who sign up for the test will make their pages available via IPv6 for 24 hours to help iron out problems created by the switch to the new addressing scheme.

“By providing an opportunity for the internet industry to collaborate to test IPv6 readiness we expect to lay the groundwork for large-scale IPv6 adoption and help make IPv6 ready for prime time,” said Leslie Daigle, chief internet technology officer at the Internet Society in a statement.

Cerf wants you to use IPv6“The good news is that internet users don’t need to do anything special to prepare for World IPv6 Day,” said Lorenzo Colitti, a network engineer at Google in a blog post. “Our current measurements suggest that the vast majority (99.95%) of users will be unaffected. However, in rare cases, users may experience connectivity problems, often due to misconfigured or misbehaving home network devices.”

According to Google, Vint Cerf, the program manager for the ARPA Internet research project chose a 32-bit address format for an experiment in packet network interconnection in 1977. For more than 30 years, 32-bit addresses have served us well, but now the Internet is running out of space. IPv6 is the only long-term solution, but it has not yet been widely deployed.  In November 2010 Mr.  Cerf, one of the driving forces behind Google’s IPv6 efforts warned that the net faced “turbulent times” if it did not move quickly to adopt IPv6.



It will be interesting to see the number of participants. This all may just blow over the top because not enough of the right people in organizations see the need. I spoke to my Boss about this a while ago and I think one phone call has been made to our upstream ISP to see what they are doing.  We probably wont deal with it until there is a need for a point-to-point IP video conference with China or something and when it wont work,  then it be a crisis that gets addressed.

What do you think?

Is your organization participating in World IPv6 day?

Does World IPv6 day even matter?

Does your organization have a plan for IPv6 migration?

Broadband is a Civil Right?

According to former Federal Communications Commission commissioner Michael Copps, American’s civil rights should be expanded to include broadband access. Mr. Copps stated at a July 21, 2008 speech at Carnegie Mellon University, “No matter who you are, or where you live, or how much money you make … you will need, and you are entitled to have these tools (broadband Internet) available to you, I think, as a civil right,”(http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-283886A1.pdf).

Ubiquitous broadband is a good thing, perhaps even a lofty political goal and an economic driver, however I have a hard time figuring out where to place freedom to surf. I wonder where Mr. Copps will place this new civil right, maybe it will be life, liberty and the pursuit of broadband access (sorry Mr. Jefferson your ideas are just so 18th century).

Broadband’s power-line push

From TechRepublic – People have been experimenting with building communication networks over power lines since the 1950s. But the technology has never seriously caught on due to its low speed, low functionality and high development cost.

In recent years, new modulation techniques supported by other technological advances have helped BPL evolve. Most services today are capable of delivering between 512kbps and 3mbps of throughput, which is comparable to most DSL offerings.

But policy disputes and expensive failures largely have been the hallmark of BPL. In 1999, for example, Nortel Networks, a telecommunications equipment maker, and the British energy company United Utilities abandoned a two-year BPL project.

Because BPL uses the radio frequency signals sent over medium and low-voltage AC power lines to connect customers to the Internet, it can cause interference with HAM radios and emergency radios. Power lines, it seems, are great and often overpowering antennas because of their length and height off the ground.

In 2004, the FCC released a set of rules governing the use of BPL to prevent interference. Most BPL equipment deployed today keeps to these limits. “I think the issue of interference has been a little overblown,” said Bob Gerardi, manager of power line communications for Duke Power, based in Charlotte, N.C. “Some of the first-generation equipment had some problems, but the latest technology adjusts the power levels to avoid any interference.”

With many of the technical issues ironed out, BPL is slowly getting deployed. More than 50 utilities across the country are looking into it. Duke Power, along with Progress Energy in Raleigh, N.C, and Consolidated Edison in New York, is one of three power companies in trials with EarthLink.

Duke began its trial with 500 homes and plans to launch a commercial service to 10,000 to 15,000 homes by the end of this year, said Gerardi. The company, which will rent access to its network to ISPs such as EarthLink, said it will be able to handle high-speed data services at 512kbps to 5mbps, along with voice over IP services. The cost of the service will likely be about $30 a month. “The feedback we have gotten from customers is that they want choice,” said Gerardi. “They are happy that Duke Power is pursuing this technology, and we feel an obligation to our customers to vet the opportunity because of the potential benefits.”

But some analysts say it will be difficult for BPL to make any significant gains against the cable and phone companies, which have a big lead both in terms of subscribers and mind share.
“The big problem for power companies is not the technology, but the timing,” said Jim Penhune, an analyst with Strategy Analytics. “The more mature the market, the harder it is for new entrants to break in.”

The power companies are also not in a great position to bundle their services. Cable operators and phone companies are going after the “triple play” market, which includes a package of telephony, television and high-speed data services. While it’s not inconceivable that power companies will try to bundle other services with their broadband access, critics say it’ll be a stretch.

“Power companies make the Bells look like fast-paced innovators when it comes to launching into new businesses,” said Penhune. “I don’t see them as particularly nimble.”