Beyond Arwain?

John Openspectrum

The Things Network User

Posted on 14-10-2016

Today's agenda for an IoT & digital "commons"?

Have we really been here before?

Arwain has been mentioned:

Inspired by (London) and then the burgeoning wireless freenets movement, Arwain was a community wireless network in Cardiff (802.11b, bandwidth sharing) hoisting the flags of broadband access and open spectrum at a time when BT declared that broadband would never reach Wales within a 15 year time horizon.

Arwain formed from a small group of sign-ups to the node database, with the aim of building a wireless freenet in Cardiff. Other agendas soon set in play as other actors participated.

The group pulled in different directions. Hackers, geeks, artists, business agendas, public interest agendas, an eclectic mix.

Wireless nets were, arguably, a mouse that frightened the elephant. Their wider effect disproportionate to their actual built presence on the ground. Perceived as a strategic threat to the telcos , accelerating the pace of change: ie. BT's aggressive ADSL roll-out (I have been given this view from high authority).

And the world has moved on.

Ofom. LLU. A competitive market place developed (as contrast OFTEL policy failure 1984-2004). New approaches in spectrum management policy.

So where do we stand now?

  • Why an IoT agenda?
  • Whither an open source, open spectrum, civil society agenda?

Past lessons?

  • actors/networks/ interests?
  • open source / community / for-profit?
  • sustainability?
  • self-provisioned infrastructure / traditions of community collaboration?
  • state subsidy route / culture of dependency

Working principle (1):
* Build! / demonstration project - proof of concept

Working principle (2):
* Funding? / self-provisioned? (etc)

Working principle (3):
* A clear definition of community (/other) goals

end of screed ;)
And I didn't mention post-Brexit once!