I’m still on hiatus, but here are two quick notes that might interest Bottom-Up readers. First, over at Ars Technica, I have a new article on mesh networking:
Multi-hop mesh networks, confined to university labs at the start of this decade, are now widely available from commercial vendors. These vendors tout a number of advantages for mesh technologies: lower costs of deployment, easier administration, better coverage, and lower power consumption. Mesh networking is now being used in an impressive range of applications, from large-scale institutional deployments to networks of tiny sensors.
Mesh networking is sometimes mentioned as a solution to the much-discussed “last mile” problem in US telecommunications policy. Unfortunately, the inherent capacity limits of the wireless medium means that mesh networks are unlikely to provide a serious alternative to fiber or coax broadband connections in this market. Mesh is a reasonable way to provide broadband to consumers in developing countries who might not otherwise be able to afford access at all. But in the developed world, mesh technologies are best viewed as a supplement to wired Internet connections and traditional single-hop access points.
Second, if you live in Philadelphia, please come to my talk to the Temple Libertarians next Wednesday! It’s titled “Copyright and the War on Innovation,” and it will be on December 9 at 6 PM in room 200a of the Temple University Student Center.