Okay, braindumping something else I've been thinking about. It would be a mesh network, made up of radios capable of making some number of point-to-point RF links with neighboring ones. Figure it would be able to do say 1 gb/s. It's capacity would be able to be split into channels, say each at 10 mb/s. It also of course has a wired Ethernet connection.

You buy one of these, and can control how much of its capacity goes to what.

So you'd have a bunch of networks that each one could pass data for, all encrypted. If you're node is part of it, you can connect and get a Layer 2 network, like a bunch of computers on the same switch. Yet you can see all the other hosts connected to nodes that partake of this stream.

If your node isn't connected to one particular network/stream/whatever, you could still pass traffic for it or not, if you wanted. Everything would be encrypted.

All someone has to do is buy one of these radios and set it up, and in theory enough people would do it that each could see others.

You could use it if you just needed a point-to-point link for something. Or a local ISP could use it to provide service... They just have you buy (or they resell) one of these, with the right keys to access their network.

Or, you setup a private network with your friends, and use it like a LAN.

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The goal would be to be able to span a wide area (continent?) with these, based on people volunteering some/all of the capacity of their radios.

The hardware could be open, but services like ISPs, with a connection to the greater internet, could create actual demand for it, beyond it just being "a neat project" at first.

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What got me thinking about this is the fact that individuals using the internet don't really own much of its infrastructure. Most of us buy service from some company that ran fiber or coax or whatever to our homes.

I'm not the only one here who selfhosts from a home connection, but even that depends on a lot of other infrastructure that's out of my control. The idea wouldn't be to replace the internet either, just to make a new channel.

Disclaimer: I've had this rattling around in my head, but haven't really looked at what's happening with mesh networks, so I'm not sure if some/all of what I described has been covered.

I'm also not sure about starting this as a project... Professionally I'm more of a power guy, and am not into making radio waves. At least not intentionally.

Nevertheless, I just felt like throwing this out here.

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