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Community WiFi: Invitation to Nov 8 Event in Boston (fwd)

Hope to see some of you at this event next Wednesday. See 
invitation below. As discussed at a recent BLU meeting, Roofnet 
software runs on Linux. At Castle Square we have it on close to 
100 Netgear WFT634u routers each purchased for $50 or less 
(mostly refubs). -s.


We invite you to a presentation next Wednesday, Nov 8 at 3:00 pm 
regarding the Castle Square wireless mesh network. With support 
from the Boston Foundation and WinnDevelopment, the Castle Square 
Tenants Organization (CSTO) has collaborated with the Benjamin 
Franklin Institute of Technology, MIT researchers, and J Ryan 
Solutions to create a wireless community network offering free 
Internet access to interested residents of our 500-unit housing 

We would like to share with you our experience, which has 
involved significant obstacles and frustration as well as, more 
recently, substantial success testing out a new system of sharing 
a small number of Internet connections with a large number of 

In Boston, Cambridge, Brookline and an increasing number of other 
cities in the Commonwealth, there are plans for city-wide WiFi. 
But typically the plans for such networks do not call for the 
network to reach much beyond the exterior walls of buildings... 
often only to the lower floors. In Boston, for example, the 
Mayor's wireless task force report recommendations stated:

"For the end-user interface, the network must be designed to 
bring the wireless signal to customer exterior wall; it is the 
customer's responsibility to propagate the signal within their 
residence (the "first yard"). Additionally, it is recommended 
that the network be designed to allow end-users to extend the 
network by bringing their own router / access points to act as 
mesh nodes. This type of mesh architecture will provide a truly 
unique platform for economic development, application 
development, and innovation." (pg. 25)

So, if a city network brings inexpensive wireless Internet to the 
exterior walls of affordable housing developments in your 
neighborhood, what will be the best way to bring it inside to 
cover entire apartment complexes? Please come join us on November 
8 to learn how one housing development has been addressing such 
issues and let's share our thoughts and experience in regard to 
how citywide networks can be most effective at ensuring equitable 
access to the Internet for all citizens.

Please pass this invitation on to others you know who may be 

We will start in our community room by providing an overview of 
the project, then take a brief tour to look at our outdoor 
wireless infrastructure. We'll conclude back in the community 
room with some light refreshments, question and answer, and open 

We hope that you can join us for this event. If you plan to 
attend, would you kindly send us an email at 
eflorescsto at or call 617-482-4605. Thank you.


Deborah Backus, Executive Director    Emilio Flores
Castle Square Tenants Organization    Wireless Program Manager
476 Tremont Street
Boston, MA  02116

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