One way of constructing citizen-owned mesh networks is to use wireless (Wifi) routers and link them into a network. Some people are not very happy with this solution, be it because of health concerns, be it because such a network would be very vulnerable to interference and interception if specifically targeted.
There is a solution to constructing data links that are not emitting radio waves or - as in the case of Wifi - microwaves, and that are not subject to interference or interception. Those are direct line-of-sight data links that work with lasers or LEDs.
An open source project that describes such a data link is RONJA, to be found here:
- Ronja is a free technology project for reliable optical data links with a current range of 1.4km and a communication speed of 10Mbps full duplex. Applications of this wireless networking device include backbone of free, public, and community networks, individual and corporate Internet connectivity, and also home and building security. High reliability and availability linking is possible in combination with WiFi devices. The Twibright Ronja datalink can network neighbouring houses with cross-street ethernet access, solve the last mile problem for ISP’s, or provide a link layer for fast neighbourhood mesh networks.
Ronja (Reasonable Optical Near Joint Access) is an User Controlled Technology (like Free Software) project of optical point-to-point data link. The device has 1.4km range and has stable 10Mbps full duplex data rate. Ronja is an optoelectronic device you can mount on your house and connect your PC, home or office network with other networks. Or you can use it as a general purpose wireless link for building any other networking project.
The design is released under the GNU Free Documentation License: you get all the necessary documentation and construction guides free. The material costs are very low, about 100 USD. The operation is immune to interference and quite reliable - interrupted only by dense fog.
Output of Ronja project is a design. Twibright Labs' intent is not to manufacture and sell pieces of hardware, but to solely engage in the development. Manufacture and selling parts and kits is meant to be performed by other entities, without explicit licensing requirements. This is intended to guard the user against overpricing. Moreover, the freely available complete source code and building guide helps the user to have transparent control over quality of the goods he is buying.
If you are interested in the device, then visit the homepage, buy components and make the device yourself...
Or get some of your friends interested in manufacturing this as an open source local manufacturing project, at which point we can all (those of us who aren't technically gifted, that is) buy and install a few of those devices to link us to our friends.