The MileMesh Meetup is about bringing together people who are interested in building a mesh network in Hoboken.
In the week after Hurricane Sandy we all experienced hardship and leaned on each other for help. FEMA, PSE&G and other institutions eventually reached the city to restore basic services. But our telecommunications companies were overwhelmed and unable to respond effectively in the face of unprecedented infrastructure failures. As a result, Hoboken residents and businesses had a very difficult time communicating with each other, with our local government, and with friends and family outside our community. We can't let Hoboken go off the grid like this again. And we can't wait for Verizon or Cablevision to harden their systems. Despite repeated calls from Congress and the Federal Communications Commission, the telecommunications industry is resisting new requirements for backup power for cell sites and other critical communications facilities. We have to fix this problem ourselves so that our community is prepared for the next big crisis.
A new technology called mesh wireless networking offers a fast, relatively inexpensive way to quickly build an open, free, redundant local network in Hoboken. It has been tested in Brooklyn where it proved highly resilient and provided lifeline Internet service to hundreds of people despite extensive flooding similar to what we saw here. We think it can work here too.
We are an adhoc volunteer group of entrepreneurs, technologists and community activists who want to launch a barn-raising style effort to build a mesh network here in Hoboken.