[hackerspaces] spread spectrum para-Internet?

James Arlen myrcurial at thinkhaus.org
Thu Feb 16 07:45:32 CET 2012

Setting up an "alternate Internet" has been a topic of discussion as far back as I can remember (perhaps in the late 80's, definitely early 90's)

While theoretically possible, one runs into issues around long-distance backhaul between nodes pretty quickly - land topology tends to get in the way and those pesky oceans are hard to cross. 

That being said, there are lots of tools available to make it happen -- and a less graphical "internet" is certainly possible. We got an awful lot done with 80x24 text terminals and computers that had megahertz speeds and megabytes of memory with hundreds of users. Pine, pico/vi/emacs, tin, ftp, gopher, lynx, archie, veronica - it would be relatively trivial to implement what we were using as "the internet" in about 1993-94 using throw-away hardware -- all you need to do is figure out how to get the packets from here to there. 

Look at some of the mesh radio stuff and some of the early experiments in optical networking -- there was a DIY 10mb/s optical ethernet system at one point called RONJA that would haul over a pretty decent distance (approx 1 mile at 10mb/s full duplex)

As long as you steer clear of spectra that the government considers to belong to someone else, you should be fine -- and all of the old software is still out there. 


… oh crap, I really am an old timer. 

On 2012-02-16, at 1:33 AM, B F wrote:

> See "spread spectrum" (and "open spectrum") articles on Wikipedia.
> A friend suggests implementing an "Internet" over spread spectrum.  No
> government, corporate, or university involvement.  No SOPA, PIPA,
> ACTA, TPP or other assaults on freedom of communication.
> Thoughts?  Practicality?
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