Category Archives: From the Executive Director

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

Continue reading Why Mesh-based Wireless Networks Are Ideal for New York

Wi-Fi and the Digital Divide

The Digital Divide is a topic for great discussion for the past decade or two, since computers and information systems have permeated our society and culture. Many people have proposed solutions, and many have helped address some of the Divide’s many components. It is spoken about often, and has been categorized and explained from many angles. Fundamentally, it refers to the chasm that exists in our society between the have’s and the have-not’s, and about the inability for the have-not’s to join the ranks of the have’s. It is, in part, a problem of economics.

So how does Wi-Fi fit in?

The Digital Divide, in part, can be solved by proper application of technology. Indeed, technology is the silver bullet for the Digital Divide that has been trumpeted by politicians and corporations alike. But in reality, it is more about the use of technology, and not the acquisition of it. This point is often confused by many who talk about the bridge that it can help form. Technology must be both affordable, to address economic problem, as well as assistive in its use in helping people better themselves.

Continue reading Wi-Fi and the Digital Divide