Geeks Without Frontiers
04 Mar 2019
Open Forum: Cost of undergrounding power lines is no excuse for PG&E
02 Mar 2019
When home internet access is too expensive, low-income residents turn to other resources
08 Nov 2018
Geeks Without Frontiers Selected to Support FCC Broadband Disaster Preparedness and Response Program
20 Aug 2018
Geeks Without Frontiers Launches ‘HumanityConnect!’ to Empower Displace Persons Through Connectivity-Driven Solutions for Disaster Preparedness and Refugee Relief
02 May 2018
Geeks Without Frontiers Appoints David Hartshorn as Chief Executive
12 Mar 2018
Satellite & Connectivity Communities Endorse A Global Broadband Initiative Promoting UN Sustainable Development Goals
19 Oct 2017
Geeks Without Frontiers Releases Its ‘CommunityConnect!’ Global Broadband Initiative at the Geeks “Connectivity is the Revolution!” Thought Leadership Forum
11 Aug 2017
Geeks Without Frontiers Nominated for the 2017 Global Grand Challenge Awards
26 May 2017
Geeks Without Frontiers to Advise on Acceleration of National Broadband Deployment
20 Oct 2016
Bringing Broadband To The Next Billion: Thought Leadership Summit Releases Groundbreaking “DigOnce!” Model Legislation
07 Oct 2016
Tackling Humanity’s Greatest Challenges: Geeks Without Frontiers Shortlisted for Global Grand Challenge Awards
11 Nov 2015
DigOnce! A Fiber & Internet Initiative That Can Touch A Billion Lives
10 Nov 2015
Broadband For The Next Billion: Working to Connect Everyone on Earth to the Internet By 2020
22 Jun 2015
New FCC Internet Regulations Model for Achieving Global Internet Access?
10 Jul 2013
Geeks Without Frontiers’ Vision To Bring Broadband To The Next Billion
03 Jul 2013
Shooting a Class Photo to Space on a Rocket
03 Aug 2011
Geeks Without Frontiers Announces Final Development? of Low Cost, Open Source, Wi-Fi Software

Open Forum: Cost of undergrounding power lines is no excuse for PG&E

By Jeffrey Pfeffer

Published in the San Francisco Chronicle on March 4, 2019

During the mid-February wind and rainstorm, we lost power at my home for 37 hours and so did about 84,000 other people. A few weeks earlier, during another storm when we went without power for 19 hours, a PG&E representative said that 80,000 people were without power. Power failures affecting many people throughout Northern California are routine for Pacific Gas and Electric Co., California’s largest public utility, which recently entered bankruptcy for the second time. And it’s not just loss of power that bedevils the utility’s customers. Since 2014, PG&E’s equipment has been blamed for causing more than 1,500 Northern California wildfires.

PG&E invariably blames the blackouts on the weather and the wildfires on climate change. Ducking responsibility represents a frequently successful attempt to absolve the company from having to pay any damages.

PG&E customers suffer from power failures and wildfires because the utility has not done what it should to put its electrical lines underground.

Research going back decades finds that companies often engage in self-serving attributions for performance, with management taking credit for good outcomes and blaming unfavorable results on external and uncontrollable factors. A study of public utilities found that management took credit for good outcomes and shifted blame for the bad, but that this behavior was associated with less earnings per share growth than in utilities where management engaged in less self-serving behavior. Another study found that companies that made self-serving attributions for performance problems had statistically significantly lower stock prices one year later. The causal logic: Managers come to believe their own rhetoric, and thinking that poor performance is outside of their control, rationally do not make much effort to remedy the situation. If things are truly uncontrollable, why try?

Even as PG&E tries to shift blame for its many problems to uncontrollable external factors, few people seem to ask what to me seems like an obvious question: Why does bad weather cause so many blackouts for the company? One plausible explanation is because the utility has so many of its power lines above ground.

Underground power lines don’t start wildfires. Underground power lines aren’t susceptible to being knocked down by falling trees or blown over by the wind during storms. Moreover, most people don’t find utility poles particularly attractive. That’s why people prefer underground utilities.

The facts about PG&E and undergrounding show that the utility is responsible for power failures. For instance, between 2007 and 2017, PG&E spent only 68.4 percent of the small amount it budgeted for placing power lines underground. In not one year during that time did the company spend its full undergrounding budget. Moreover, while another California utility, San Diego Gas and Electric has almost 65 percent of its lines now underground, PG&E has buried less than 25 percent.

To explore these issues, I recently spoke with Dr. Michael Potter, a co-founder of the nonprofit Geeks Without Frontiers and a telecom business and social entrepreneur who has advised the Federal Communications Commission’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee. Among the initiatives sponsored by the organization is one aptly called, Dig Once The premise is almost painfully common sense: When utilities repair gas lines, when municipalities repair roads—in short, when any significant excavation or trenching is getting done—use that opportunity to lay conduit and put not just fiber-optic cable and phone lines underground but also power lines. Digging once is an idea with tremendous appeal because, by some estimates, 85 percent of the cost of putting utility infrastructure underground is the expense of digging trenches and then repairing what was disturbed in the process.

Potter described in frustrating detail how difficult it is to get utilities to work together or to embrace the idea of making utility infrastructure more resistant to natural disasters. Again, PG&E provides the perfect illustration. When it repaired gas lines damaged by the Santa Rosa fires by trenching, it nonetheless replaced the damaged electrical infrastructure in some neighborhoods by once again stringing overhead wires on poles.

Potter’s point: The estimated costs of putting power or other utilities such as telephone lines underground are tremendously overstated. Yes, it costs a small fortune to dig a trench. But every day all over Northern California, roads are being dug up and repaired, gas lines are being replaced, water mains are being upgraded, cable is being laid, and so forth. If municipalities forced utilities to coordinate and, to use a phrase, dig once and enhance infrastructure resilience in a coordinated fashion, the total cost would be substantially less than repairing, replacing and undergrounding utilities one at a time.

The citizens of California would enjoy more robust and modern infrastructure less susceptible to natural disasters.

All that would be required to have better utility service is a little common sense and coordination, things that seem to be in short supply these days.

Jeffrey Pfeffer is the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

Published in the San Francisco Chronicle on March 4, 2019

When home internet access is too expensive, low-income residents turn to other resources

By Matt Jones, Staff Writer, Virginian Pilot

Article Published in the Virginian Pilot on Mar 2, 2019

Davion O’Neal ran up the street, two of his friends close behind. Out of nowhere, a blue car jumped the curb and screeched to a stop in front of him.

Pressing the space bar, he hopped onto the roof of the car. O’Neal and his friends are playing a game on Roblox, a multiplayer online gaming platform based in a world built of Lego-like blocks. It’s one of the games they’re encouraged to play in the computer lab at the Citizens Boys and Girls Club on Shell Road in Hampton to promote teamwork and good communication skills.

He couldn’t do this at home — his family doesn’t have internet.

It’s not an uncommon story. About 57 percent of Newport News and 74 percent of Hampton households had broadband in 2017, according to the Census Bureau.

Joseph Belk, 8, was playing another game on a Chromebook laptop provided by the club. He does have internet at home, but he has to share a computer with the rest of his family.

“My sister gets it on Sunday, my brother gets it on Monday and I get it on Saturday,” Belk said. “The rest of the week my mom has to use it.”

According to survey data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, about 40 percent of the households near the Boys and Girls Club unit didn’t have a subscription to an internet service between 2013 and 2017.

About 18 percent of households in that census tract, bounded by Shell Road and Pembroke Avenue, didn’t have a computer.

“You do have a lot of them who are, you know, not as fortunate. So, computers, laptops, things like that aren’t common in their household,” unit director Keisha Waller said.

She said she regularly sees the benefits of giving students the opportunity to play online in teams, not just for homework for research, like they had been doing earlier in the day about historic African American figures.

“It causes them to interact positively too,” Waller said. “The computer brings them together as a whole.”

Internet statistics can vary significantly between neighborhoods.

In the census tract that includes downtown Newport News, about 50 percent didn’t have internet between 2013 and 2017. In another, adjacent to Richneck Elementary School, only 7.5 percent didn’t have internet.

That first part of Newport News had a median annual income of about $25,000 during that time period, compared to about $51,000 for the city as a whole. Near Richneck, the median income was about $77,500.

Internet providers have infrastructure across the area, according to Newport News director of planning Sheila McAllister.

“It’s just a matter of providing the service at a cheaper price,” McAllister said. “A lot of people don’t have service because it’s just too expensive for them to have.”

When broadband is too expensive

Cox Communications offers a low-cost plan that provides broadband and a free Wi-Fi modem for $9.95 a month to households participating in certain benefits programs with a school-aged child.

But, said Yugonda Sample-Jones, a southeast Newport News resident and community activist, that still excludes some low-income residents.

“They can’t get the $9 special because they owe a past bill, so therefore they don’t have internet,” Sample-Jones said.

Other residents might rely on cell phones. About 6 percent of Hampton and 8 percent of Newport News households used only cell data plans for internet access in 2017.

There are a few places southeast Newport News residents can find free Wi-Fi, such as the McDonald’s on Jefferson Avenue.

Community resources include computer labs at Ridley Place’s Family Investment Center and the Pearl Bailey Public Library on Wickham Avenue, although both have limited hours.

For children who are members, Boys and Girls clubs also can provide an opportunity to get online. At the Citizen’s unit, Wi-Fi, internet safety classes and printers are available.

Kids could go to a library, Waller said, but they need parental assistance to get a library card.

“If you already have a parent who’s not very active in your life, it’s hard to get them to,” she said.

Schools lend helping hotspot

Hundreds of students in Newport News and Hampton have gained internet access in the last couple of years thanks to schools and cell phone provider Sprint.

Newport News Public Schools started participating in the Sprint 1Million project last school year. Sprint provides mobile devices — either a Wi-Fi hotspot, cellphone or tablet — for free to high school students who don’t have internet access.

The district issued about 640 devices last year, according to Brandie Wright, who coordinates the program for the district. So far this year, it has issued about 200.

“To be honest, I think we were actually pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t as many students that didn’t have internet access, based on our demographics,” Wright said. “However, we know that the population is still there and it’s very distinct for our school district.”

Most students in the program, according to Wright, didn’t have a device of their own to use for homework.

Now students who can’t make it to school or are suspended can complete some school work. Wright said students also use hotspots and tablets to finish graduation requirements through online classes if they didn’t graduate on time in May.

“I’ve seen (teachers reaching out) more this year than last year, which is good because that has told me that the word has gotten around that we have this program available,” Wright said.

Hampton City Schools joined the program this school year. James Maxlow, tech support manager for Hampton schools, said the district has issued 548 hotspots since October.

The hotspots compliment other device programs, according to Maxlow.

In Hampton, all students from fifth grade up get Google Chromebook laptops. Three Newport News high schools provide those to students.

“There’s just a lot more engaging instructional experiences they can provide while at home,” Maxlow said. “We have cases where students are checking their Google classrooms and interacting with teachers each evening through this program.”

Plans for future

Newport News director of library services Sonia Alcantara-Antoine said city libraries are working on a plan to loan out Wi-Fi hotspots.

“If you are in the digital divide — where you don’t have access to technology or you don’t have the skills to be able to use a computer to access those government forms or get your prescriptions filled or fill out that online job application — it makes it extremely hard for you to just get ahead,” Alcantara-Antoine said.

The program will start with the Bailey library, likely within the next year, and expand if it proves successful, Alcantara-Antoine said.

That library serves some of the communities where broadband is the scarcest, including the Marshall Courts and Ridley Place public housing communities.

About 64 percent of Ridley Place households don’t have access to a computer with internet at home, according to a city assessment.

Newport News is one of four 2018 finalists for federal Choice Neighborhoods Initiative grants of up to $30 million to revitalize the Marshall-Ridley area.

McAllister said the city started a broadband study in conjunction with a consultant in southeast Newport News in August. Her office is in the process of reviewing the results.

Internet access proposals floated as part of the grant include increasing the number of computer labs in the area and creating a network of Wi-Fi hotspots, possibly using existing utilities such as light poles.

Sample-Jones, who is serving as a community liaison in the CNI grant process, hopes that the city can use its young people to help implement the initiative. The city will find out in March if it won the grant.

“If they’re helping their elderly neighbor around the corner get internet access, and this is their job or they’re getting their community service hours for school, it seems like it would work,” Sample-Jones said. “It’s a great idea.

“Then our internet would be affordable.”

Article Published in the Virginian Pilot on Mar 2, 2019?

Geeks Without Frontiers Selected to Support FCC Broadband Disaster Preparedness and Response Program

WASHINGTON, DC — (November 8, 2018) –  Geeks Without Frontiers (GEEKS) announced today that GEEKS’ CEO, David Hartshorn, has been appointed to a working group of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC), focused on accelerating the deployment of broadband Internet access. Hartshorn will be supporting the working group tasked with disaster preparedness and recovery.

“We commend FCC Chairman Pai’s initiative, to prioritize the importance of disaster recovery and preparedness,” Hartshorn said. “Geeks Without Frontiers shares the view that there is, today, an important opportunity to leverage technology, regulation, policy and stakeholder collaboration for impactful disaster preparedness. It’s an honor to play a role in the development of mission critical broadband solutions in the U.S.”

GEEKS’ support for the working group builds upon initiatives that are closely aligned with the FCC’s priorities, particularly as they relate to bridging the digital divide. Those initiatives include the following:

  • Humanity Connect!: a multi-sector collaboration that draws upon coordination of the private and public sectors to enable community integration into national and international disaster-preparedness communications strategies.
  • DigOnce!: a global policy initiative designed to help close the digital divide by introducing a customizable legislative framework designed to increase the availability of broadband internet facilities by reducing the time, cost, and environmental impact of rolling out high-speed communications networks.
  • CommunityConnect!:  a code of best practices for Satellite Operators, Regulators, Service Providers and Integrators, designed to help promote the more rapid and cost-effective deployment of satellite broadband to communities globally with a view to closing the digital divide and to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Successful strategies for implementation of sustainable connectivity will also be the focus of GEEKS’ Connectivity is the Revolution!” Thought Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. on 4 Dec. 2018.  Government and industry officials will gather for this high-level event, designed to drive and inspire global efforts to help bridge the digital divide and bring connectivity to the estimated 3.2 billion people who do not have the benefit of internet access.

About Geeks Without Frontiers

The GEEKS goal is to positively impact the lives of a billion people in the next ten years through the innovative use of technology, connectivity, and sustainable social enterprise models. To get involved with the organization visit www.geekswf.org, and to learn more about the GEEKS Thought Leadership Forum visit www.connectivityforum.com or email Geeks at info@GeeksWF.org.

Geeks Without Frontiers Launches ‘HumanityConnect!’ to Empower Displace Persons Through Connectivity-Driven Solutions for Disaster Preparedness and Refugee Relief

Announcement Made During Singularity University Global Grand Challenges Summit Includes Call for Partners to Join ‘Coalition of the Willing’

20 August, 2018 — SAN FRANCISCO, California  – Geeks Without Frontiers (GEEKS) has unveiled its “HumanityConnect!” initiative, a multi-sector collaboration with a dual objective: to empower forcibly displaced people throughout the world — including disaster-affected and refugee populations — through improved access to community-based connectivity-driven solutions.

The launch of HumanityConnect! was accompanied by a call for partners during the Global Grand Challenges Summit. David Hartshorn, GEEKS’ CEO, said: “We are inviting like-minded stakeholders to join us as we leverage state-of-the-art connectivity for — and with — local communities. The sheer scale of the challenge is compelling: the United Nations High Commission for Refugees estimates that there are an unprecedented 68.5 million people around the world that have been forced from their homes. In addition to millions of disaster-affected individuals, there are more than 25.4 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. In collaboration with partners from the public and private sectors, GEEKS is setting out to meet that challenge with HumanityConnect!

Two related GEEKS initiatives – DigOnce!’ and CommunityConnect!  – were selected as finalists in previous Global Grand Challenge Awards in 2016 and 2017, respectively. GEEKS co-founder Michael Potter explained: “These GEEKS initiatives are designed to drive realization of the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development’s recommendations for countries to ‘develop enhanced national broadband plans’ and to ‘update regulatory frameworks for broadband’ in recognition of the vital role of broadband in building and transforming economies and societies and achieving the SDGs.”

GEEKS co-founder John Morris elaborated: “The GEEKS initiatives provide powerful tools that can be harnessed by any country to help develop broadband services as an important part of their national broadband strategy and policies.” Co-founder Chris Stott said: “After announcing the DigOnce! model law initiative at the Global Grand Challenges Summit in 2016, GEEKS was appointed to a working group of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee and has played an important role in helping to develop a Model Code designed to help accelerate broadband deployment and close the Digital Divide in the U.S. GEEKS is proud to have been of service and plans to support similar public-private sector collaboration throughout the world.“

Via Globe Newswire

Geeks Without Frontiers Appoints David Hartshorn as Chief Executive

WASHINGTON, May 02, 2018  — Geeks Without Frontiers (GEEKS), an award-winning Non Governmental Organization (NGO) focused on addressing global connectivity challenges with a view to closing the Digital Divide and facilitating the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is delighted to announce the appointment of David Hartshorn as Chief Executive Officer with effect from  July 1, 2018.

Mr. Hartshorn, who will be supported by Angie Mar in her new role as GEEKS’ International Program Director, brings more than 25 years of experience tackling global communications issues including helping to build and lead the Global VSAT Forum (GVF), an international association focused on all aspects of improving access to satellite-based connectivity.

GEEKS co-founder Michael Potter said, “GEEKS has achieved a lot in the last three years with the launch of its Model Law on DigOnce!, the success of its Community Connect initiative and GEEKS’ appointment to a working group of the Federal Communications Commission’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (a new body focused on accelerating the deployment of broadband Internet access in the USA). We have ambitious plans for the future, and David and Angie’s skills and experience will enable us to accelerate our connectivity programs.”

“Since GEEKS’ inception, I have admired the Founders’ vision and the strategic approach of the team and their advisors,” Mr. Hartshorn said. “I’m honored to have the opportunity, at this moment in history, to pursue the organization’s goal of positively impacting the lives of a billion people through the innovative use of technology, connectivity and sustainable social enterprise models. In addition to helping to expand and accelerate the rollout of GEEKS’ current initiatives, I look forward to establishing a global community and platform to help close the digital divide by bringing communications-enabled health, education, security and other solutions to unserved and underserved global communities.”

GEEKS’ co-founder John Morris said, “David has extensive experience of the satellite eco system, the broader communications sector and the global NGO community and this, together with Angie’s international experience at Intelsat and GVF, will help GEEKS to build on its previous successes and to move forward at a faster and more informed rate.”

GEEKS’ co-founder Chris Stott said, “In recognizing the vital role of broadband in building and transforming economies and societies and achieving the SDGs, governments are increasingly willing to collaborate and work in innovative ways with the private sector. The GEEKS team is committed to working together with all stakeholders who have a shared interest in achieving a more connected and inclusive world.”

Via Globe Newswire

Satellite & Connectivity Communities Endorse A Global Broadband Initiative Promoting UN Sustainable Development 

Washington D.C., March 12th, 2018Geeks Without Frontiers (GEEKS) is delighted to announce strong support from the satellite and connectivity communities for its CommunityConnect! initiative, designed to drive and inspire a global policy effort to close the digital divide, to accelerate satellite broadband connectivity to the estimated 4.2 billion people who do not have the benefit of internet access, and to help meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). GEEKS is also delighted to announce that CommunityConnect! won the Pacific Telecommunications Council’s ‘Best Regulatory Innovation’ Award.

CommunityConnect! is a code of best practices for Satellite Operators, Regulators, Service Providers and Integrators, designed to help promote the more rapid and cost-effective deployment of satellite broadband to communities globally. The initiative would not have been possible without the knowledge, experience and commitment of our expert working group, which included BLUETOWN, EchoStar Corporation, Eutelsat S.A., The Global VSAT Forum (GVF), ManSat LLC, SES S.A. and law firm Reed Smith LLP.

Since its release at the GEEKS annual conference in Washington DC on October 21 2017, CommunityConnect! has also been endorsed by the EMEA Satellite Operators Association (ESOA), the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation, the Asian Pacific Satellite Communications Council (APSCC), Telesat, Intelsat, the Space & Satellite Professionals International (SSPI), the International Space University (ISU), the International Institute of Space Commerce (IISC), the Danish Telecom Industry Association (TI), the Satellite Industry Association (SIA) and the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

GEEKS co-founder John Morris said, “The Geeks initiative reflects the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development’s recommendations for countries to both “?develop enhanced national broadband plans?” and to “?update regulatory frameworks for broadband” ?in recognition of the vital role of broadband in building and transforming economies and societies and achieving the SDGs. CommunityConnect! will provide a powerful tool that can be harnessed by any country to help develop satellite broadband services as an important part of their national broadband strategy and policies.”

Fellow co-founder Michael Potter said, “GEEKS is inspired by the recognition of both the satellite industry and the Pacific Telecommunications Council of the strategic importance of CommunityConnect! to the global community especially as connectivity is critical for bringing educational, healthcare, social, economic and e-government benefits to communities and has a pivotal role to play in helping to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

Chris Stott, GEEKS co-founder, said, “CommunityConnect! is the next logical step in opening up broadband for the global community. The technology, the need and the demand are there. We now need to ensure that the regulatory paths are also there in order to enable it all to happen. This endorsement of CommunityConnect! by so many experienced industry participants and by the Pacific Telecommunications Council is a ringing validation of the importance of this initiative.”

About Geeks Without Frontiers

The GEEKS’ goal is to positively impact the lives of a billion people in the next ten years through the innovative use of technology, connectivity, and sustainable social enterprise models. GEEKS’ initiatives include: DigOnce!, VillageConnect! and CommunityConnect!.

GEEKS was a Global Grand Challenge finalist in 2017 for its CommunityConnect! initiative and also in 2016 for its DigOnce! Model Law. DigOnce! is a global policy initiative designed to help close the digital divide by introducing a customizable legislative framework designed to increase the availability of broadband internet facilities by reducing the time, cost, and environmental impact of rolling out high-speed terrestrial communications networks. Following the release of DigOnce!, Michael Potter (and John Morris as alternate) was appointed to a sub-committee of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, which is focused on introducing model codes of practice designed to help close the digital divide in the U.S.A. John Morris, a UK qualified Barrister, is the architect and principal author of both the DigOnce! and CommunityConnect! initiatives.

About the Pacific Telecommunications Council

The Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC) is the global non-profit membership organization promoting the advancement of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the Pacific Rim, the most dynamic geography of the world, spanning over 40 nations. PTC enables its members to conduct trade in facilities, technologies and services and to use the power of ICT to improve the quality of life in the Asia-Pacific region. PTC is recognized for many of its initiatives, including its Annual Conference, the Pacific Rim’s premier ICT event where 7,000+ members and industry attendees gather annually in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Via Globe Newswire

Geeks Without Frontiers Releases Its ‘CommunityConnect!’ Global Broadband Initiative at the Geeks “Connectivity is the Revolution!” Thought Leadership Forum

Washington D.C., October 19, 2017- Geeks Without Frontiers (GEEKS) announced the release of its CommunityConnect! initiative, designed to drive and inspire a global policy effort to help close the digital divide, and to accelerate broadband connectivity to the estimated 4.2 billion people who do not have the benefit of internet access. CommunityConnect! is code of best practices for Satellite Operators, Regulators and Service Providers & Integrators, drawn up in conjunction with thought leaders from the satellite and broadband communications industry, and designed to help promote the rapid and cost-effective deployment of satellite broadband.

GEEKS’ co-founder Michael Potter said: “The CommunityConnect! vision is to enable 100% availability of broadband communications services everywhere, providing businesses, governments, hospitals, schools, NGO’s, individuals and others with access to broadband services, wherever they are located. This will help to bring the educational, healthcare, social, economic and e-government benefits to communities everywhere and facilitate and accelerate the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).”

GEEKS’s co-founder, John Morris said: “The Geeks initiative reflects the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development’s recommendations for counties to both ‘develop enhanced national broadband plans’ and to ‘update regulatory frameworks for broadband’ in recognition of the vital role of broadband in building and transforming economies and societies and achieving the SDGs. CommunityConnect! will provide a powerful tool that can be harnessed by any country to help develop satellite broadband services as an important part of their national broadband strategy and policies. The initiative addresses the core challenges that need to be met in order to help facilitate the more rapid and cost-effective deployment of satellite broadband services.”

The CommunityConnect! initiative would not have been possible without the knowledge, experience and commitment of the industry experts that helped to create the best practices code. The CommunityConnect! working group, includes BLUETOWN, EchoStar Corporation, Eutelsat S.A., The Global VSAT Forum (GVF), ManSat LLC, SES S.A. and law firm Reed Smith LLP. The group compiled a review of the factors influencing the availability and cost of satellite broadband and compiled the “Best Practices for Satellite Operators, Regulators, and Terrestrial Service Providers” in order to help achieve ‘Connected Communities’. The report provides strategically important steps that governments, regulators, funders, the satellite industry and other service providers can take to help promote Connected Communities as part of an informed Information and Communications Technology policy.

About Geeks Without Frontiers

The GEEKS’ goal is to positively impact the lives of a billion people in the next ten years through the innovative use of technology, connectivity, and sustainable social enterprise models. GEEKS’ initiatives include: DigOnce!’, VillageConnect’ and CommunityConnect!.

GEEKS was a Global Grand Challenge finalist in 2017 for its CommunityConnect! initiative and also in 2016 for its ‘DigOnce!’ Model Law. DigOnce! is a global policy initiative designed to help close the digital divide by introducing a customizable legislative framework designed to increase the availability of broadband internet facilities by reducing the time, cost, and environmental impact of rolling out high-speed communications networks. Following the release of DigOnce!’, GEEKS’ co-founder Michael Potter (and fellow co-founder John Morris as alternate) was appointed to a sub-committee of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, which is focused on introducing model codes of practice designed to help close the digital divide in the U.S.A.

Via Globe Newswire

Geeks Without Frontiers Nominated for the 2017 Global Grand Challenge Awards

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 11, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Geeks Without Frontiers(GEEKS) announced today that the non-profit organization has, for the second year running, been nominated for the Global Grand Challenge Awards for its CommunityConnect! initiative to be announced at the August 13-15, Singularity Global Summit in San Francisco, California.

The 2017 Global Grand Challenge nomination is for GEEKS’s satellite broadband focused ‘CommunityConnect!’ initiative, which aims to help close the global digital divide by introducing best practices for satellite operators, entities regulating and licensing satellite bandwidth, and operators on the ground. GEEKS’s co-founder, Michael Potter said, “We are honored that the high impact Geeks Without Frontiers initiatives have continue to be recognized on a global level.” The ‘CommunityConnect!’ working group has several industry experts including from EchoStar, ManSat, the Global VSAT Forum (GVF), the law firm Reed Smith, and BLUETOWN.

As part of ‘Connectivity Week’, to be held in collaboration with the IEEE, GEEKS will hold its October 20th 2017 ‘Connectivity is the Revolution thought leadership forum in Washington D.C. At the conference, GEEKS will formally release its CommunityConnect!’ international model code and best practices initiative designed to drive and inspire a global policy effort to help close the digital divide, and help to bring connectivity to the estimated 3.2 billion people who do not have the benefit of internet access.

GEEKS was also a finalist in 2016 for its DigOnce! Model Law, a global policy initiative designed to help close the digital divide by introducing a customizable legislative framework designed to increase the availability of broadband internet facilities by reducing the time, cost, and environmental impact of rolling out high-speed communications networks. Following the release of DigOnce!’, GEEKS co-founder Michael Potter (and GEEKS Director John Morris as alternate) was appointed to a sub-committee of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, which is focused on introducing model codes of practice designed to help close the digital divide in the U.S.

About the Global Grand Challenge Awards

Singularity University (SU) believes that leveraging the convergence of exponential technologies will advance us along the path to solving our Global Grand Challenges (GGCs), and will shift humanity from an era of scarcity to one of abundance. There are twelve global grand challenges: Energy, Environment, Food, Shelter, Space, Water, Disaster Resilience, Shelter, Health, Learning, Prosperity, and Security. In addressing each GGC, SU is solving for the following three perspectives: ensuring basic needs are met for all people, sustaining and improving quality of life, and mitigating future risks. A maximum of three participating organizations are selected for each of the 12 GGC’s.

About Geeks Without Frontiers

The GEEKS goal is to positively impact the lives of a billion people in the next ten years through the innovative use of technology, connectivity, and sustainable social enterprise models. GEEKS initiatives include: DigOnce!’VillageConnect!’ and CommunityConnect!

Via Globe Newswire

Geeks Without Frontiers to Advise on Acceleration of National Broadband Deployment

WASHINGTON, DC–(Marketwired – May 16, 2017) –  Geeks Without Frontiers (GEEKS) announced today that founder, Michael Potter, has been appointed to a working group of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC), a new body focused on accelerating the deployment of broadband Internet access. Potter will be focused on the working group tasked with developing model state and municipal codes.

Michael Potter remarked, “We commend FCC Chairman Pai’s initiative, to prioritize and accelerate the roll-out of broadband connectivity. There is a direct relationship between connectivity, bandwidth and sustainable economic development.” Potter further explained, “I have spent my entire professional career accelerating broadband connectivity. This is definitely my passion and my calling. It is an honor to be able to play a role in identifying and developing solutions for how to scale sustainable broadband connectivity in the U.S.”

In addition to founding Geeks Without Frontiers (GEEKS), a non profit organization focused on positively impacting the lives of a billion people over the next ten years through the innovative use of technology, connectivity, and sustainable social enterprise models, Potter brings extensive commercial experience in developing international broadband networks. He served on the Board of Directors of Global Connect, a Danish Internet infrastructure provider, which has deployed nearly 10,000 miles of fiber optic network in Northern Europe. Potter was Vice Chairman, Co-Founder and President of Esprit Telecom plc., the first pan-European competitive telecommunications service provider. During his eight years at Esprit, his team grew to 1,000 employees in over nine European Countries and a market capitalization of $1 billion.

Geeks Without Frontiers views Potter’s appointment as a synergy with our efforts to help close the digital divide. He brings extensive telecommunications knowledge, problem solving and analytical skills to the Advisory Committee.

At our “Connectivity is the Revolution!” thought leadership forum last year, GEEKS released its Dig Once! international model legislation to drive and inspire a global policy effort to help close the digital divide, and bring connectivity to the estimated 3.2 billion people who do not have the benefit of internet access.

Dig Once! provides a customizable legislative framework designed to increase the availability of broadband Internet facilities by reducing the time, cost and environmental impact of rolling out high-speed communications networks.

Over 80% of fiber optic costs are related to digging trenches for laying fiber optic cabling and the roll-out of fiber is not coordinated or optimized.

The GEEK’S Dig Once! initiative envisages the joint use of existing networks (including utility networks), the automatic incorporation of fiber into new and modified infrastructure developments such as roads and railways, the centralization of information about networks and network capacity and the coordination of civil works so that fiber rollout is optimized.

About Geeks Without Frontiers

The GEEKS goal is to positively impact the lives of a billion people in the next ten years through the innovative use of technology, connectivity, and sustainable social enterprise models.

The GEEK’S Dig Once! initiative was selected in August 2016 for the Singularity University’s Global Grand Challenge Awards.

Via Marketwired

                                                                                                                                Geeks Without Frontiers

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Bringing Broadband To The Next Billion: Thought Leadership Summit Releases Groundbreaking “DigOnce!” Model Legislation

Geeks Without Frontiers (GEEKS) announced on October 21st, at the Connectivity is the Revolution! thought leadership forum, the release of its DigOnce! international model legislation to drive and inspire a global policy effort to help close the digital divide, and bring connectivity to the estimated 3.2 billion people who do have the benefit of internet access.

DigOnce! provides a customizable legislative framework designed to increase the availability of broadband internet facilities by reducing the time, cost and environmental impact of rolling out high-speed communications networks.

“Over 80% of fiber optic costs are related to digging trenches for laying fiber optic cabling and the roll-out of fiber is not coordinated or optimized.” said London based Attorney, telecoms entrepreneur and one of GEEKS founders, John Morris.

The GEEK’s DigOnce! initiative envisages the joint use of existing networks (including utility networks), the automatic incorporation of fiber into new and modified infrastructure developments such as roads and railways, the centralization of information about networks and network capacity and the coordination of civil works so that fiber rollout is optimized. The model law also contains provisions ensuring that communications network providers can deliver their services and that new and modified buildings are broadband ready.

The legislation is designed to drive and inspire a global policy effort to help close the digital divide. It is intended for use by Governments and NGOs as a model for approaching how best to bring the social, educational, and financial benefits of broadband to the greatest number of people quickly and efficiently. It has equal relevance to The International Telecommunications Union’s Broadband Commission which is now focused, from a policy point of view, on how to bring together concepts of broadband Internet with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

About Geeks Without Frontiers

The GEEKS goal is to positively impact the lives of a billion people in the next ten years through the innovative use of technology, connectivity and sustainable social enterprise models.

GEEK’S is progressing its strategic initiative of bringing internet to a billion people within the next 10 years (‘Broadband for the next Billion’) by focusing on two key strategies:

  • ‘VillageConnect’: working with partners to deliver sustainable internet to villages with both universal service (healthcare and education) and social entrepreneurship solutions, and
  • ‘DigOnce!: international model legislation designed to drive and inspire a global policy effort to help close the digital divide.

The GEEKS DigOnce! initiative was selected in August 2016 for the Singularity University Global Grand Challenge Awards.

The Connectivity is the Revolution! thought leadership forum is being convened in partnership with the Space Policy Institute at the George Washington University.

For more information contact: info@geekswf.org and visit us online at www.geekswf.org

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Geeks Without Frontiers

Download Model Law (Adobe PDF)

Tackling Humanity’s Greatest Challenges: Geeks Without Frontiers Shortlisted for Global Grand Challenge Awards

Geeks Without Frontiers (www.geekswf.org) is proud to announce that we have been short listed for the “Global Grand Challenge Awards.” The Awards are a central part of the upcoming Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco which Geeks will attend. It is not a simple task to positively touch the lives of a billion people in the coming decades, yet the summit is focused on understanding the impact of exponential technologies on humanity’s greatest challenges.

Geeks Without Frontiers was selected because of its “DigOnce!” initiative. The social, educational and economic benefits of broadband connectivity have been widely recognised and connectivity is just as much a C21st revolution as rail was in C19th and electricity in C20th. Geek’s current goal is to accelerate the deployment of fiber optic networks in both advanced and developing economies. When 90% of fiber optic costs are related to digging the trenches for laying the fiber optic cabling, the vision of the DigOnce! initiative allows for the installation of empty fiber optic conduits (the plastic pipes that fiber is later “blown” or “pulled” through) as new roads (and other infrastructure) are built and existing roads are dug up to enable fiber to be installed.

The Geeks DigOnce! team, has developed Model Legislation designed to  require developers of new roads and companies digging up existing roads to lay sufficient fibre optic conduits to take care of future growth. I also deals with requiring other utility operators (water, gas, electricity etc) to share their infrastructure where appropriate.  Doing this will save material cost and time and help to speed up the roll out of broadband connectivity. It is also a “green” initiative, since it advocates laying the conduits any time new roads are built or old ones are repaired. This will prevent a future need to tear up the roads to lay fiber optic cables and will avoid the associated disruption and negative effect on the environment.

Large road projects funded by the European Union, the International Finance Corporation, the African Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank could require conduits to be installed during road construction or road expansion. The International Telecommunications Union’s Broadband Commission is now focused, from a policy point of view, on how to bring together concepts of broadband Internet with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

 DigOnce! is part of Geek’s ‘Broadband for a Billion’ initiative the other main part being VillageConnect which aims to bring ‘proof of concept’ connectivity to 20 villages/refugee camps in the next 18 months. www.geekswf.org.

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Geeks Without Frontiers - Dig OnceDigOnce! A Fiber & Internet Initiative That Can Touch A Billion Lives

Geeks Without Frontiers has developed an open infrastructure initiative called  DigOnce! a plan to accelerate the deployment of fiber optic networks. DigOnce! will speed the creation of gigabit villages around the world.

90% of fiber optic cost are related to digging the trenches for laying the fiber optic cabling. The vision of the DigOnce! initiative allows for the installation of empty  fiber optic conduits (the plastic pipes that fiber is later “blown” or “pulled” through) as roads are expanded and built across the developing world.

If the decision is made to put fiber optic cabling into roads after they have been built or expanded, it is both enormously expensive and intensely pollutive. Additionally in some jurisdictions, an internet provider that is interested in cutting into brand new roads and highways, will be asked to take over the 10 or 15 year warranty on the road, provided by company hired to build the road.

DigOnce! from a policy point of view and a legal basis would require roadworks to lay conduits to pave the path for fiber optic cables for enhanced speed and bandwidth. The initiative is “green” since it advocates laying the conduits any time new roads are built or old ones are repaired. This will prevent future need to tear up the roads to lay fiber optic cables.”   DigOnce! can also be expanded to those road digs that are necessary for the installation and expansion of water systems, sewer infrastructure, natural gas pipelines and other village and municipal utilities.

Large road projects funded by the European Union, the International Finance Corporation, the African Development, and the Asian Development Bank could require conduits to be installed during road construction or road expansion.  The International Telecommunications Union’s Broadband Commission is now focused, from a policy point of view, on how to bring together concepts of broadband Internet with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  

As part of GEEKS action plan, we are developing a White Paper on DigOnce!, as well as model DigOnce! legislation. This can be used in countries around the world to accelerate the achievements of Sustainable Development Goals.  To follow-through and to ensure the success of these initiatives will require a tremendous amount of outreach and advocacy and continual education of the compelling benefits of  DigOnce! The final take-away is that DigOnce! allows for rapidly developing low cost, high capacity green fiber telecoms infrastructure, which can positively touch a billion lives around the world in the next decade.

Geeks Without FrontiersBroadband For The Next Billion: Working to Connect Everyone on Earth to the Internet By 2020

Can we work connect Everyone on Earth to the Internet by 2020?  Can we do so focused on leveraging its low cost, open source WiFi technologies to deliver broadband, especially to rural areas of the developing world?  At Geeks Without Frontiers we believe  that open sources technologies, social enterprise, low cost phones and devices as well as new satellite systems make this goal achievable.

Importantly, GEEKS believes that the year 2020 will be viewed as the ‘Communications Singularity’—a single moment in time when for the first time in history every person on the planet will be connected. Based on recent economic models, a case can be made that bringing broadband to one billion people could create up to $1 trillion dollars of economic impact over the next decade.

The goal of GEEKS’ new initiative is to combine the power of social enterprise, Open Source, and low cost technologies to allow WiFi to go ‘viral’ in the developing world.  Providing an ecosystem of software tools, hardware, and backhaul capability to establish village to bring broadband to the next billion.

We believe the key is to combine the power of the marketplace with affordable, state of the art, open source tools which will facilitate internet WiFi networks going viral around the globe.  It’s harnessing the power of economics as opposed to traditional models of aid. It’s using market forces to bring sustainable solutions  to unconnected areas of the world through access to enhanced communications. Geeks Without Frontiers wants to close the global digital divide by inspiring tens of thousands of local entrepreneurs to run small, local Internet businesses.

Now that High Throughput Satellite (HTS) capacity is coming online over the developing world, the next big challenge for Internet connectivity will be off-grid sustainable energy to power the Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSATs), enabling the roll-out of village Internet connectivity.

An important driver for this expansion of internet connectivity by the end of the decade will come from open source WiFi- based mesh networks. WiFi solutions, together with an “ecosystem” of hardware and software tools, to enable the development and rollout of large-scale mesh WiFi networks for fractions of the traditional network cost making access to broadband in rural areas an affordable reality.

The ecosystem of tools to include micro-payment systems, network management systems, a local advertising module and, eventually, renewable energy solutions to power the wireless networks. These represent a major step in achieving the vision of affordable broadband for all, capable of bringing tremendous economic and social benefits to millions of people, especially in areas where legacy broadband models are currently considered to be uneconomical.

Via Marketwired

New FCC Internet Regulations Model for Achieving Global Internet Access?

President Obama announced his administration’s strategy for achieving national broadband internet access coverage. No reasonable person can argue against the importance of broadband internet for driving economic growth, development, innovation, education, and entertainment.

We applaud the administration for bringing more attention, and debate to the critical issues associated with broadband. However, I believe it is imperative to contribute two additional unifying principles.

First, broadband is not simply a domestic national issue, it is fundamentally a global issue. I am not suggesting U.S. citizens and taxpayers should be unfairly burdened with any additional global challenges and responsibilities.

However, I passionately believe in the power of leadership by example. Let’s show the world that this vision is achievable. Political rhetoric is not sufficient. Ultimately the final criteria for success must be predicated on the power of our actions, and of course, the real impact that we are able to achieve! Not only will this country and the world judge our success, but more importantly, so will history.

The second fundamental principle is the necessity for financial and economic sustainability and scalability of broadband business models. I have argued for years, that broadband internet is a fundamental human right. It is important that the notions and principles of universal “access” are not confused with slogans that are not financially sustainable. We should be cautions of political and governmental slogans the proclaim “free,” or “subsidized,” internet.

Universal access can best be achieved by ensuring a vigorous, openly competitive marketplace. This will facilitate the creation of more and better innovation, new services, open source protocols and lower prices. It is critical that consumers are empowered, and that they have access to the open source tools, so that consumers are better able to influence their own broadband future.

What should be driving our broadband future is a market that is based on open competition, underpinned by appropriate business oriented competition law and regulation. Policies that seek to turn the internet into a regulated utility, operated by monopolists and quasi-monopolists under the false banner of “free,” or “subsidized” will not lead to financial sustainability, but to complex redistribution, and poorly allocated public spending.

The government is less efficient at picking winners and losers both in terms of business models, and also in terms of superior future technical solutions. We must allow for a free market to create a myriad of technologies, the best of which will help to solve the challenge of achieving ‘broadband access for all’. Policymakers need to ensure that smaller internet service providers can have open, competitive, wholesale access to the fiber optic networks of the existing monopoly and quasi monopoly providers.

Sustainability and scalability, with access to open networks, open source tools and dynamic markets will allow broadband investments to be paid back, so that the funds can be “paid forward” to other communities, allowing broadband to go viral, as opposed to heavily regulated and complex subsidization schemes, that tend to slow and suppress internet growth. The democratization of broadband requires open markets, the best technologies and global thinking in a world where it is becoming increasingly clear that the wellbeing of any part is symbiotically related to the wellbeing of the whole.

In the year 2020, I argue that everybody on the planet who desires to be connected to the Internet, will have the capability to have Internet access. I call this single moment in history, when every human being is connected to the internet, the “Communications Singularity.”

If we get this debate right, we can collectively make a tremendous impact. The benefits will be much greater than any single nation state may deliver by themselves, but a few nations united, can ultimately have an impact that can benefit the majority of humanity.

If the correct decisions are made, about broadband and internet access in 2015, we can positively impact the lives of a billion people in less than 10 years time. That is a goal worth fighting for!

Finally, one of the initiatives, of this presidential administration, which holds great potential is the so called, “dig once,” initiative. This initiative calls for allowing fiber optic internet providers to have access to underground facilities whenever the roads are opened up by those replacing water pipes, cable TV, electric companies and the like. Nearly 90% of all cost related to installing fiber optic cabling, is related to the digging cost. If we can essentially eliminate digging cost we can provide consumers with higher bandwidth, lower cost internet access.

Not only do we have to get the policy of “dig once,” to work here in the U.S., we need to provide the model legislation that will enable countries around the world to be empowered and take the leadership role in providing low cost internet to their citizens.

Geeks Without Frontiers’ Vision To Bring Broadband To The Next Billion

July 10, 2013 (Redondo Beach, California) — Geeks Without Frontiers (GEEKS) today announces the release of its vision to bring broadband to the next billion – ”Broadband for a Billion (B4B): Working to Connect Everyone on Earth to the Internet by 2020″ – focused on leveraging its low cost, open source WiFi technologies to deliver broadband, especially to rural areas of the developing world.

GEEKS believes that the year 2020 will be viewed as the ‘Communications Singularity’—a single moment in time when every person on the planet will be connected. Based on recent economic models, a case can be made that bringing broadband to one billion people could create up to $1 trillion dollars of economic impact over the next decade.

The goal of GEEKS’ new initiative is to combine the power of social enterprise and low – cost technologies to allow WiFi to go ‘viral’ in the developing world by providing an ecosystem of hardware and software tools to establish village WiFi networks and to bring broadband to the next billion.

Michael Potter, one of the founders of the GEEKS initiative explained, “combining the power of the market with affordable, state of the art, open source tools will help internet WiFi networks to go viral globally. It’s the power of economics as opposed to aid. It’s using market forces to bring true and lasting change to unconnected areas of the world through access to enhanced communications. Geeks Without Frontiers wants to close the global digital divide by inspiring tens of thousands of local entrepreneurs to run small, local Internet businesses.”

An important driver for this expansion of internet connectivity by the end of the decade will come from open source WiFi- based mesh networks. GEEKS and its partners, the Tides Foundation, Google and Global Connect have, along with Cozy Bit and I-Net Solutions, developed a new open source WiFi standard 802.11s that has now been certified as the global standard by the IEEE. The WiFi solution, together with an “ecosystem” of hardware and software tools, will enable the development and rollout of large-scale mesh WiFi networks for a fraction of the traditional network cost making access to broadband in rural areas an affordable reality.

The ecosystem of tools will include micropayment systems, network management systems, a local advertising module and, eventually, renewable energy solutions to power the wireless networks. These represent a major step in achieving the vision of affordable broadband for all, capable of bringing tremendous economic and social benefits to millions of people, especially in areas where legacy broadband models are currently considered to be uneconomical.

Wireless communication is now being viewed as an important political and economic issue. In April 2013, Google’s Chairman, Eric Schmidt, argued, “By the end of the decade, everyone on Earth will be connected.” More recently, in June 2013, President Barack Obama declared that we must, “encourage further development of cutting-edge wireless technologies, applications, and services,” in his presidential memorandum entitled, “Expanding America’s Leadership in Wireless Innovation.”

The GEEKS ‘Communications Singularity’ vision to bring “Broadband for a Billion (B4B): Working to Connect Everyone on Earth to the Internet by 2020,” is available on the GEEKS website (www.geekswf.org) and will soon be available as an iBook for free download on iTunes.

Shooting a Class Photo to Space on a Rocket

Geeks Without Frontiers is thrilled to work with the RHO Appleseed School in Lusaka, Zambia.

In an effort to acquire more land and new green technology facilities to accommodate the growing school, GEEKS launched an online crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo that raised more than $11,000.

The hope is that the new school can serve as a model for other independent rural schools throughout Africa.

GEEKS hopes that the children of the Appleseed School will be inspired to reach for the stars!

Geeks Without Frontiers Announces Final Development? of Low Cost, Open Source, Wi-Fi Software

August 3, 2011 (Mountain View, California) –Geeks Without Frontiers (GEEKS), an initiative of the not for-profit Manna Energy Foundation, focused on using technology and social enterprise to have a positive impact on a billion people in 10 years, today announces the final development of an innovative, low cost, open source, Wi-Fi software technology facilitated by a grant from the Tides Foundation.

GEEKS expects that this technology, built mainly by Cozybit, managed by GEEKS and I-Net Solutions, and sponsored by Google, Global Connect, Nortel, One Laptop Per Child, and the Manna Energy Foundation, will enable the development and rollout of large-scale mesh Wi-Fi networks for atleast half of the traditional network cost. This is a major step in achieving the vision of affordable broadband for all, capable of bringing tremendous economic and social benefits to millions of people, especially in areas where legacy broadband models are currently considered to be uneconomical.

“By driving down the cost of metropolitan and village scale Wi-Fi networks, millions more people will be able to reap the economic and social benefits of significantly lower cost Internet access,” explained Michael Potter, one of the founders of the GEEKS initiative.  “GEEKS is honored to work with the Tides Foundation, Google, and others, in moving towards making the dream of significantly lower cost global access a reality.”

Geeks specially recognizes Javier Cardona of Cozybit for his key role in this project and who, together, with security expert Dan Harkins, have worked to ensure that the GEEKS Wi-Fi software utilizes the strongest authentication methodology known to exist for mesh networks, providing exceptional security.  Harkins confirms that his approach of SAE (Simultaneous Authentication of Equals) is secure to offline dictionary attacks.  In addition to secure authentication, the latest release of open80211s (o11s) implements the AMPE (Authenticated Mesh Peering Exchange) which enables multiple authenticated nodes to encrypt traffic between themselves.  Combining SAE and AMPE creates an unprecedented level of security in mesh networks.  This combination of high level security and open source code will help to ensure that new networks utilizing o11s are materially safer and yet significantly lower cost to deploy.

GEEKS also recognizes Andrew Gold of I-Net Solutions, and Karl Garcia of Google who, in developing two free Wi-Fi networks currently delivering free broadband to more than 100,000 people in California, helped define the components of low-cost highly-scalable mesh Wi-Fi.

The next step in the GEEKS project is to complete the current open source implementation of the upcoming IEEE mesh standard 802.11s which is expected be ratified in the 4th quarter of this year. The software is currently available at www.o11s.org

Via Marketwired