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Building Alternative Networks

Building Alternative Networks

Internet Shutdowns have become a very common practice across the world by oppressive governments irrespective of the fact that Internet Access has been upheld one of the fundamental Human Right.

It is through controlling the network infrastructure that govt. agencies or Internet Service Providers are able to control our communication channels. In this presentation titled "Building Alternative Networks", I have tried to communicate the necessity of building such networks.

The presentation was prepared for the Mesh Network meetup organized by Free Software Foundation Tamil Nadu at Pondicherry and Chennai, Tamilnadu, India on 25.12.2019


Prasanna Venkadesh

December 25, 2019


  1. Building Alternative Network - Meetup 1 Prasanna Venkadesh, FSFTN 25.12.2019

    | Chennai 1
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  4. Why Alternative Network? Our dependency on existing infrastructure is too

    much that we don't know what to do when it goes down... Today we rely the Internet for (not in any particular order) 1. Communication 2. Banking, Public Services & Shopping 3. Knowledge and Education 4. Research and Publication 5. Entertaiment 4
  5. Internet's Infrastructure One Global Network. Backbone Countries and Continents are

    connected via Undersea Cables. ISPs and Telecom Operators build Wired / Wireless Infrastructure (Fibre optic cables, Cellphone towers, etc.) Users We build LAN/WLAN in our buildings (Wifi Modem and Routers, Hotspots, etc.) click here to explore the undersea cable map. 5
  6. Reasons To Go Down 1. Cyclone 2. Flood 3. Earthquake

    4. Ships and very rarely Sharks! 5. Authoritarian Govt. 6
  7. Disaster Response 1. Ham Radio 2. Disaster Radio 7

  8. Internet is Not only about Social Media It is also

    about access to knowledge & education, sharing resources, new ways of doing business collaboratively, etc., Therefore, when Internet goes down, we should be able to continue doing the above things. But How? 8
  9. Build Community Networks Use Cases Emergency Response system during natural

    disasters. Local Shops, Ecommerce, Maps, etc., Community run radio shows. Neighbourhood Social Support. We all collectively build the local infrastructure and lay the foundation for building further ecosystem on top of it in participatory model. “ “ 9
  10. Components Required 1. WiFi Routers to create Wireless Network. 2.

    Antennas to link large distances. 3. Hard Disks for storage. 4. Free licensed contents to distribute. 5. Shared Electricity (both renewable / non-renewable) 6. Poles to erect routers / antennas. 7. People to build and participate. 10
  11. Examples 1. Swecha and FreedomBox (Andhra & Telengana) 2. Freifunk

    (Germany) 3. Guifi (Spain) 4. Ninux (Italy) FSFTN Initiatives PYMESH, Chennai Mesh and Libre Digital Library (KaraiGLUG) 11
  12. Think Global, Act Local Technology is available and ready, we

    need to act. We need to start building our network. Thank You 12