Building Wireless Community Networks is about getting people online using wireless network technology. The 802.11b standard (also known as WiFi) makes it possible to network towns, schools, neighborhoods, small business, and almost any kind of organization. All that's required is a willingness to cooperate and share resources.
The first edition of this book helped thousands of people engage in community networking activities. At the time, it was impossible to predict how quickly and thoroughly WiFi would penetrate the marketplace. Today, with WiFi-enabled computers almost as common as Ethernet, it makes even more sense to take the next step and network your community using nothing but freely available radio spectrum.
This book has showed many people how to make their network available, even from the park bench, how to extend high-speed Internet access into the many areas not served by DSL and cable providers, and how to build working communities and a shared though intangible network. All that's required to create an access point for high-speed Internet connection is a gateway or base station. Once that is set up, any computer with a wireless card can log onto the network and share its resources.
Rob Flickenger built such a network in northern California, and continues to participate in network-building efforts. His nuts-and-bolts guide covers:
- Selecting the appropriate equipment
- Finding antenna sites, and building and installing antennas
- Protecting your network from inappropriate access
- New network monitoring tools and techniques (new)
- Regulations affecting wireless deployment (new)
- IP network administration, including DNS and IP Tunneling (new)
His expertise, as well as his sense of humor and enthusiasm for the topic, makes Building Wireless Community Networks
a very useful and readable book for anyone interested in wireless connectivity.