NYCwireless' oldest public node moving!

I am going to go ahead and lay claim to the oldest continuously operating NYCwireless public node. During a very hot and sweaty summer evening back in 2001 Terry, Anthony and the rest crowded into my living room to help launch Cornelia Street community wireless (The village voice article that launched this adventure). The decision to install a NYCwireless public wireless node has taken me on adventure that goes far beyond technology.

Some highlights from the past 4 years:

  • Helping Terry and the team build out the first free public NYC park network in Bryant Park.
  • Building 3 low income housing networks in conjunction with Community Access.
  • Meeting technology visionaries like Dave Farber, Jeff Pulver and Henning Schulzrinne at the monthly meeting.
  • Posing with my laptop for the camera at various NYC venues as Anthony (aka media slut) had us do often back when Wifi was hot news. We are such dorks!

While the node on Cornelia Street maybe shutting down the NYCwireless experience goes on. I am looking forward to many years to come off great wireless projects and lots of beer. Stay tuned for news on the Garfield Place community wireless network in Park Slope Brooklyn. Just as soon as I can get unpacked.

NYCwireless node #6 link

Why Mesh-based Wireless Networks Are Ideal for New York

Mesh networks are wireless networks, based on Wi-Fi technology, where each wireless “node” or “access point” connects with a number of other wireless nodes. Information flows from node to node, winding up either at its destination or the internet in general. Internet connections, in a mesh-based network, are provided by one or more nodes that connect to the internet directly (referred to as “backhaul”).

Robust and reliable, mesh wireless systems offer multiple points of connection to the network and no central tower. Mesh users can bypass obstacles like hills and trees by using different signal paths. Mesh networks are easily expandable at very low cost, and they have no single point of failure. Mesh networks also feature shorter distances between nodes, which means each antenna can broadcast at lower power, creating less interference and allowing more users to communicate simultaneously.” (from

The benefits of mesh technology are many:

  • self-organized, dynamic routing and connection
  • little or no centralized configuration
  • each node is interchangeable with every other node
  • overlapping wireless coverage areas ensure that no node is a point of failure
  • no wires are necessary, as the network is entirely wireless
  • organic build-out of the entire network is possible
  • multiple separate networks can be built independently and grow into a single cohesive network
  • redundant paths to backhaul
  • easy/seamless addition of additional backhaul

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NYCwireless June Meeting – Everyone is Invited!

This is an especially important meeting.

Please post this notice to all interested friends and related lists.

When: TONIGHT!! Wed. June 29th, 2005 at 7:15 PM
Where:, 459 Broadway at Grand St., 2nd Floor.


  • NYCwireless Connected Neighborhoods by Dana Spiegel & Joe Plotkin
  • WifiDog demo: a tool for managing wireless networks, by Rob Kelley (and friends)
  • WirelessLondon: A software toolkit by Jo Walsh (no, not that Joe Walsh)
  • Breakout sessions: small group discussions follow the presentations, from Novice to Advanced.

Announcing: NYCwireless Connected Neighborhood Initiative

Presentation by Dana Spiegel (Executive Director) and Joe Plotkin (Board member)

We will present NYCwireless’ plans to help under-served communities by building Open Community Networks. Expanding on the success of the three Community Access projects over the last 2 years., this will be a much more ambitious effort, and require substantial financial support thru donations.

The NYCwireless Connected Neighborhood initiative will serve to demonstrate that we all benefit when all citizens are connected. Consequently, we intend Connected Neighborhoods to act as a model and catalyst for widespread participation by government, community groups and citizens of all ages.

NYCwireless will introduce our Inaugural Open Community Network, and outline the deployment plans as well as the tools and training that will be part of this project.

Topics covered will include:

  • Technology choices
  • Site survey
  • Installation
  • Training
  • Fund-raising
  • Volunteers
  • Timetable
  • Jo Walsh: is the thing we’ve just built which has wifidog-client support and provides a fair bit to look at… has a pile of links to the geospatial oriented stuff we’ve done lately

    Rob Kelley:

    A chance to review WiFiDog in action–client and server–and then test out creating your own WiFiDog hotspot. There’s a five minute demo and then a working session after the presentations.

    HR 2726 (Rep. Pete Sessions) Bill Banning Muni-Networks Nationwide

    A bill just introduced in Congress would take away the right of cities and towns across the country to provide citizens with universal, low-cost Internet access.

    Giant cable and telephone companies don’t want any competition–which might actually force them to offer lower prices, higher speeds and service to rural and urban areas.

    U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas)–a former telephone company executive–has introduced a bill (HR 2726) that would let cable and telecom companies shut down municipal and community efforts to offer broadband services.

    You can stop this outrageous bill. Send a message to your representative now at

    No less than the future of all communications is at stake. In a few years, television, telephone, radio and the Web will be accessed through a high-speed internet connection. Low-cost alternatives to telephone (DSL) and cable monopolies are emerging across the country, as cities, towns, nonprofits and community groups build low-cost “Community Internet” and municipal broadband systems.

    Companies like SBC, Verizon and Comcast have been introducing laws state by state that would prohibit municipal broadband, undercut local control and prevent competition. But we’ve been fighting back–and winning.

    An alliance of public interest groups, local officials, high-tech innovators and organized citizens have defeated anti-municipal broadband measures in nine of the 13 states where they’ve been introduced this year.

    What the industry couldn’t pass in the states, they’re trying to push through in Washington. Sessions’ bill–the “Preserving Innovation in Telecom Act” (an Orwellian title if there ever was one)–would prevent state and local governments from providing “any telecommunications service, information service or cable service” anywhere a corporation offers a similar service.

    Congressman Sessions worked for telephone giant SBC for 16 years, and his wife currently serves as a director of Cingular Wireless, an SBC subsidiary. SBC and its employees have been Sessions’ second-biggest career patron, pouring more than $75,000 into his campaign coffers.

    We can stop this legislation and send a clear message to Congress that local communities–not the giant telephone and cable companies–should determine their own communications needs. But you must act now.

    Please send a letter opposing HR 2726 at–and forward this message to everyone you know, asking them to do the same.

    Maine Becomes First State to Allow Municipalities to Broadband Networks

    As reported via MuniWireless, Maine has become the first state to explicitly allow municipalities to create broadband networks. This is a great development for the growth of free choice and locally driven broadband network creation. This is a very progressive stance, and one that is exactly opposite of the restrictive policies of number of other states. Indeed, allowing municipalities to make their own decisions is an important freedom that all local governments should have. Restricting municipal networks serves only the Telecom and Cable companies, and prevents municipal governments from providing important safety, security, and emergency services.