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P2P, Web Services, Wireless, and Beyond
O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference
Westin Santa Clara
May 13-16, 2002 -- Santa Clara, CA

Building on the momentum and excitement of the O'Reilly Peer-to-Peer and Web Services Conference.



Building Wireless Community Networks
Rob Flickenger

Track: Emerging Technology Tutorial
Date: Monday, May 13
Time: 8:30am - 12:00pm
Location: Winchester

Right now, Community Wireless Network groups are building the next generation Internet, both technically and ideologically. People who have a common desire to build a network "as free as the air we breathe" are making wireless broadband access available to anyone who cares to participate.

Rob Flickenger, author of Building Wireless Community Networks, gives a highly technical introduction to what Community Network nodes are, and the technical issues to be considered when rolling out public access. There are two major access models being considered by community groups around the globe: wireless networks serving to extend the Internet, and completely independent "Paranets" that never touch a commercial network. Both models are described and contrasted. Additionally, wireless hardware, antennas, mounting, cabling, routing, and firewalling are discussed, with real-world examples (and counter-examples) demonstrated.

Flickenger installs and configures a node using the NoCatAuth system, an Open Source captive portal written in Perl and MySQL. This software provides a core security framework, using dynamic firewalling and bandwidth throttling. Rob covers reasons why a captive portal is advantageous over traditional WEP and MAC filtering authentication methods, operating theory, and a step-by-step workshop on how to install it yourself.

Attendees should have a working knowledge of TCP/IP, and be familiar with typical ethernet (wired or wireless) networks.

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