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Go 'The Last Mile' With Wire-less Networking

category clare | sci-tech | press release author Tuesday July 25, 2006 16:55author by Stefan Zalewski (a.k.a mufti_el_ping) - IrishWANauthor email info at irishwan dot ie Report this post to the editors

Volunteers have built and operate a highspeed wireless data network at the west coast.

A group of enthusiasts have built a WiFi network spanning the counties Galway, Clare and Limerick in response to the inability of local 'government' and commercial wireless internet operators to provide what is seen as a basic infrastructure in the rest of Europe. Based on the use of readily available and affordable license exempt equipment, ranging from specialized embedded systems to recycled pc's, many users can now see for themselves what can be done with a bit of ingenuity, using less funds than the costs of printing a high gloss brochure of government 'Broadband' fantasies. Typical hardware costs are about €200 to €300, and the enduser owns the equipment. And since nobody owns the network, it can't be taken over. There are no running costs because the software that is used to make the connections is based on the Linux Open Source operating system. And since there is no money changing hands for the use of the radiowaves, a natural resource, no accountants get involved. There are no meters clocking up charges for the enduser, therefore it is possible to use a decentralized infrastructure, allowing for better use of the local topography and actual needs of the users. The administration is done by volunteers, and since its inception, many highly skilled specialists have been attracted and they have brought a level of expertise that would put many companies to shame. The only formal part of the organization is based on the www.irishwan.ie website, which is used as a common forum and a way for newcomers to get in touch. The operation of IrishWAN is a valuable experience for those involved, relearning basic skills of human interaction and debunking the myths of telecom technologies, thus empowering the communities using the network. Rather than having the technology imposed from the top (and getting fleeced in the process), people can now explore the potential of these technologies for themselves. Given the collapse of many GroupBroadband Schemes due to technical problems and bureaucratic paralysis IrishWan is well placed to fill the telecoms vacuum in Munster and Connaught. To quote a user in the Burren: 'Living out in the sticks doesn't mean i have to live under a rock. I don't have put up with a painfully slow dial-up connection anymore.'

Related Link: http://www.irishwan.ie
author by Tompublication date Sun Oct 08, 2006 16:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What a misleading article. Have you actually talked to the people invoved rather than going off with this misleading rant ?

author by John Smithpublication date Thu Dec 18, 2008 16:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The author of the above article is the guy who built the network, so he surely knows better what he's talking about than you.
And as someone who is actually connected to the above network I can only say, yes, agree 100% with the article.
Government organisations are more concerned with printing glossy brochures and getting their mug in the paper than
with actual results and achieving real change.
If anyone still believes in the government broadband "promise", he'd probably be crushed to learn that, just like the government information super-highway pipedreams, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are also fictional.

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