We tend to have a false collective assumption that health is binary. Either we’re healthy, or we’re sick. If we’re sick, we should be fixed, so we can be healthy again. Otherwise if we remain sick, we’re broken, and then tend to be marginalized by society and sometimes forgotten.
One of the most important insights or lessons is the necessity of fibre optic connectivity rather than wireless. While this remains true in any community, it is particularly essential in rural and remote communities that are already suffering from expensive, slow, and unreliable access.
The growing disparity between the quality of the Internet in urban areas compared to rural communities is scandalous. It reflects the self-interest that governs Internet infrastructure.
In the West Kootenay region of British Columbia, KiN, or the Kaslo infoNet Society, has been able to provide high speed broadband Internet to residents at reasonable prices.
MuralNet is an Oakland California based non-profit, that helps indigenous communities in the United States build their own high speed Internet networks.
Combining fibre and wireless connectivity, Guifi.net focuses on empowering local communities and individual users as a grassroots organization that seeks social empowerment as well as the recognition that access to the Internet is a human right.
Rather than begin by building a comprehensive guide, our plan is to build an actual micro-ISP, and share the process via this series. This includes sharing the stories of other community based ISPs, as we’ve done and will continue to do, which are both a source of inspiration and knowledge.
As the agricultural industry is transformed by technology, farmers are embracing the hacker ethos, and this includes connectivity. Farmers often have access to heavy equipment, and therefore the ability to take the Internet into their own hands.
Philip is among a growing number of technologists who decide to take measures into their own hands and create their own Internet access, for themselves, and their neighbours.