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Wireless Manifesto

There’s a manifesto proclaiming a “wireless commons” that has me just puzzled enough that I haven’t signed it. It proclaims the virtues of wireless connectivity (using unlicensed spectrum, not Open Spectrum), and then commits the signatories to some type of support in the wireless build-out:

Becoming a part of the commons means being more than a consumer. By signing your name below, you become an active participant in a network that is far more than the sum of its users. You will strive to solve the social, political and technical challenges we face. You will provide the resources your community consumes by co-operating with total strangers to build the network that we all dream of.

I don’t think I can live up to that demand, for I am primarily a bandwidth consumer; I do have have a wifi transmitter that my neighbors could use. Does that mean I can sign?

Anyway, a “wireless commons” is a phrase worth floating.

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3 Responses to “Wireless Manifesto”

  1. This wasn’t quite ready to be out of the bag yet … :-)

    You’re one of the only places to blog this with some commentary so I’ll leave a comment here, I’d love to hear back from you with your thoughts.

    We mention shared spectrum, is that not the same thing to you as open spectrum? It was intended to have the same meaning but be clearer to non-techies.

    As for the signing, we’d love to have you sign, here’s an explaination. The build-out is designed to be two fold. First, people like you with an access point at home should share with your friends and neighbors, this is the crucial grass roots part. Second, it’s a call to all the system and network administrators, rf engineers, programmers etc … to put in some extra time and to help build the infrastucture to make the most use of what people like you are doing. The fear is that without people documenting, teaching, building and managing all these hotspots we may just have another fad rather then a lasting change to the way people communicate.


  2. I’m probably overly sensitive to “unlicensed spectrum” vs “open spectrum,” but to me the difference is between getting some more frequencies where innovation can happen (which is a good thing) and allowing open access to all frequencies (with a possible exception for some military usages, but even that’s a hot button), which would be a truly revolutionary thing.

    What threw me in the manifesto was: I read it thinking it was a statement of belief (“I love spectrum!”) but at the end it turned out be a pledge. Nothing wrong with that. It just took me by surprise.

    Sorry to jump the gun. I didn’t realize it was still semi-wrapped.

  3. This is a good idea. Unfortunately, many people (all those who use (non)Optimum-Online, can lose their account for sharing the connection. I can’t get DSL where I live, they’re the only game in town. Any thoughts to pressuring the carriers to allow shared access (of course it’s in their economic interest to be against it). HG

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