Commotion 1.0 toolkit helping communities roll out mesh networks

A mesh-networking toolkit, Commotion 1.0, is being proffered by the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute (OTI), which says the technology can enable communities to build and own decentralized broadband infrastructure.

The open-source toolkit includes software and training materials for users who want to adapt mobile phones, computers and other wireless devices to mesh networks. Such networks can function as an intranet as well as deliver Internet access to everyone on the network as soon as a single device on the intranet connects to the Internet.

"Whether a community loses traditional infrastructure because of a natural disaster or as the result of a repressive regime, Commotion provides a locally owned alternative for diverse communities in the United States and around the world," said Thomas Gideon, director of OTI's technology team.
 
OTI has deployed beta versions of Commotion with local partners in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Washington, D.C. Non-U.S. deployments have been conducted in Berlin, Dharamshala and Dahanu, India, Somaliland, and Sayada, Tunisia.

Test deployments helped OTI improve Commotion, which now supports flexible configurations of devices that include multiple wired and wireless interfaces. It also offers expanded software integration with the Serval encrypted overlay mesh and provides an API for developers to create end-to-end encrypted applications atop a mesh network.

OTI said Commotion 1.0 will include a compatible Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android client for selected handsets and a desktop Linux client as well as a beta Commotion client for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows. Those clients are slated for availability in early 2014.

"The launch of Commotion 1.0 would not have been possible without the collaboration of our partner organizations and forward thinking funders who have supported this endeavor and understood its potential for more than 12 years," said Sascha Meinrath, New America vice president and OTI director.

For more:
- see this OTI release
- see this GigaOM article

Related articles:
First Detroit, then the world for Commotion mesh networking
Firetide 5 GHz mesh network used for traffic management

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