// Corinna "Elektra" Aichele (D)

Corinna "Elektra" Aichele

THU.25.10.2007 @ DOM IM BERG

Lecture: Corinna "Elektra" Aichele : “Networking in Ad-Hoc-Mode”

an introduction into the ideas, philosophy and technology of wireless community networks like "Freifunk" or "Funkfeuer".

Wireless mesh networks allow to build cheap wireless broadband infrastructure, utilizing Free Open Source Software (FOSS) and cheap of-the-shelf hardware from the electronic supermarket nearby. True freedom and democracy needs the right and the possibility to communicate. Not only for the priviledged, but also for the - poor - masses. For low income households in the so called "first world" and for the masses in developing countries mesh technology can help mitigate or overcome the digital divide.

The principle of open source software opened the intellectual horizon for Creative Commons and also for Open communication powered by cheap wireless network technology ("WiFi"). The availability of open source software gave the communication activists the necessary tools and development resources at hand to put their ideas into practice.

In wireless adhoc mesh networks, there is no master-client-relationship like in conventional networks. The end units of the users are a part of the infrastructure - the network is build by the devices of the users and by the users themself. Such networks don't need central access points but rather organize themselves by the use of intelligent open source software. They are organized in an anarchic, non-hierarchical way, based on mutual aid and can be set up by the users themselves. Mesh networks are no longer academic play or military High-Tech, but rather reality and everyone can participate in them.

Community networks of activist groups like "Freifunk" or "Funkfeuer" already cover rural areas on the countryside or entire cities or districts in Berlin, Leipzig, Graz or Vienna.


Corinna "Elektra" Aichele (D)

Elektra's main interests include autonomous power systems, electronics and wireless communication (antennas, wireless long shots, mesh networking). Elektra was/is involved in the development of mesh routing algorithms like OLSR and B.A.T.M.A.N. that have empowered communities to build mesh networks. She was building wireless networks and teaching classes about wireless technology in Bangladesh and in India and is one co-author of the book "Wireless Networking in the Developing World". The latter is available as PDF for free download on the projects website wndw.net. Recently she has published the german book "Mesh", an english version will be published in 2008.