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Monday, 28 February 2011

Open Mesh and Telcos Sans Frontieres

It is impossible not to reference Peter Cochrane's keynote at the ABC conference with all that is going on right now....

This blog post can be read at 5tth.blogspot.com



I could be wrong; I think it was in London (2002 or 2003), but it might have been in Aviemore (2004). Peter Cochrane, as one of our 'to die for' keynote speakers at the ABC national conference, stood on the stage, and tried to convince the delegates that personal connectivity would be built into hoodies, jumpers, pushbikes etc.....Your music, photos, data etc would be accessible - anytime, anyplace, anyhow - by something that had no name at the time, but now appears to be entirely encapsulated in a single phrase - "THE CLOUD".

It was a radical suggestion back then...but that's why Peter Cochrane was the keynote at every major conference we held......(along with Malcolm Matson and others - oh, you newbies, please Google our events - you have no idea how frustratingly old hat your so-called 'visions' are to some, nearly a decade later!)

I remember the "Not in our lifetime" incredulity from the audience.

But then, I spent an happy hour on the LAN gaming bus with him (Must have been Aviemore) and we shared so many ideas; PC moved as much our way as we had during the speech. By the end of that conference, anyone who was monitoring the activity at the edge could have taken the world on from those conversations! (Obviously, they didn't, or UK wouldn't be in such a dire telecomms state now......)

Now, this week, whilst democratic rights are being challenged on the ground (Egypt, Tunisia, Libya etc) and in cyberspace (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc), OpenMesh launches, and to some of us, it seems like such an old idea....

So, it must be good!

What we are talking about here is a system to allow you, me, everybody locally, to connect to our neighbours, friends, family. And then, to reach outside the walled garden, without telco involvement. Obviously, for BT, Orange, Verizon et al, this is not an option that curries favour. However, for consumers, it does.

£50 piece of kit, sown into your cuff, that makes you 'part of the network'......

If, by November, the Kindle could be free, to encourage you to buy e-books, (just as the mobile operators function - free phone, you use the network) then imagine all the vested interests who in the same time period might want you to be connected to the Net and your neighbours........

Personally, I would say, watch this space.

If each of us could become part of the Smartgrid required to reduce electricity consumption (be that in a pointlessly greedy, energy-hungry data centre, or to feed back the water leak telemetry required to stop one of our nationalised water companies spewing water into the ground), or make wind turbines more useful, or put PVs on village halls in Eden that work all year round, or....or...or.....

I'll be happy to provide backhaul, as will others within my neighbourhood, to the world outside the Garden of Eden for nothing, if my neighbours are willing to OpenMesh and save me from trying to resolve the issue of putting that antenna back on the Chamley Arms after the bad weather.

OpenMesh is just one break point in the telco world right now - there are many more. Every community, council, LEP, LSP, public sector org etc should seriously think before giving a SINGLE PENNY to the olde worlde telcos from now on. Because, potentially, what you want to achieve can be done for a few squidlets of private investment from your constituents and using people power.....

Ye olde telco world of switchboards, exchanges, cabinets, and long distance calls is long gone, my friend.

3 comments:

Somerset said...

Many applications do not need huge backhaul and could happen now.

Who talks about switchboards now?

Somerset said...

revised...

Smart metering will happen, just need to sort out the technology and the logistics of installing into every single property in the UK.

Find out more here:

http://www.smartgrids.eu/

http://conferences.theiet.org/smart-metering/

Many applications do not need huge backhaul and could happen now. Sky boxes manage to order movies on dialup!

Who talks about switchboards now?

So all these data centres are unnecessary today?

FibreGuy said...

Same old story going around in circles.

As people get the governments they deserve so it seems the same applies to communication technology.