"Mesh" Dreams = OLSR

Reuben K. Caron reuben at laptop.org
Tue Aug 24 10:13:14 EDT 2010

Where Mesh != 802.11s but rather an adhoc, self healing, self  
organizing routable network.

Imagine a world where Sugar on a Stick machines can communicate on the  
same network as an XO laptop. A world where mesh capabilities are  
hardware agnostic allowing anyone to bring up a mesh network by  
booting a live cd.

Imagine a school full of XOs where some are connected to Adhoc Channel  
1, some to Channel 6, and some to Channel 11. Now think of an XO that  
has two USB Wireless Adapters each connected respectively to one of  
those channels. This central XO also has a third USB ethernet dongle  
or a 3G wireless modem attached to it. Consider how this simple setup  
could provide Internet to everyone in the school. Consider the ability  
to actually create "Mesh Portal Points," that allow one connection to  
provide an Internet connection to many hops down the line.

Consider the benefits of using open source software versus our closed  
source firmware and partnering with communities like Freifunk whose  
network is ~ 800 node, guifi.net is almost 10k nodes in Barcelona,  
Athens Wireless is 5k nodes.

These things are all almost immediately possible by using OLSRd  
software. Over the past few months, I have tested and built small  
networks around my neighborhood to consider the feasibility of such  
software. Now I realize there is a difference between small and large  
networks but I think it is something we should consider.

As I have said, please *consider * all of these things with a fresh  
perspective and try to forget about the prior mesh battles.

Let's think of solutions that will actually make this work.  Some  
things to consider from Aaron Kaplan, a member of the OLSR community,  
cc'd here:

"How to scale networks?

-The key is to have multiple channels, smart channel selection/ 
assignment, automatic txpower control and low interference between  
-In a sense, it is funny but true: the quieter the devices become, the  
better everybody can "hear" his mesh partner.
-Summary: layer 2 is king for scalability , only then do you need to  
look at layer 3 optimizations (and with OLSR.org we already took care  
of that part"

I hope that we can come together to re-group and re-think how we OLPC  
and SugarLabs do connectivity and utilize the open opportunities  
available to create such solutions.



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