FNF and Connecting for Good Expand Free Network in KCMO
This quarter, we continued our work with non-profit Connecting for Good to bring Internet connectivity to more people in Kansas City. In late March and early April, we provided systems and systems know-how for a network network expansion at Posada del Sol, a subsidized apartment building for seniors in KCMO. The Posada site connects more than sixty housing units, the surrounding neighborhood, and serves as a relay to the 200 units we and Connecting for Good brought online at Rosedale Ridge last year. Posada del Sol is well situated to become a distribution center for connectivity on Kansas City’s west side.
Steady Progress on Technical Objectives
CTO Charles Wyble recently has continued his work on the FNF’s radio testbed and has begun benchmarking, experimenting, and integrating systems for our 1.0 FreedomStack release on July 4. James Yox, our CIO, has been penetration-testing our computer systems to ensure greater reliability and security. We began the quarter by completely rearchitecting our enterprise storage solution, and system performance is at an all-time high.
Guifi.us Demoed at SXSW
Isaac presented on the FNF and guifi.us at SXSW Interactive in Austin, TX, on March 9th. Also presenting on the panel “And What of Liberty? Networks and Freedom,” were Dan Phiffer of occupy.here and Harlo Holmes of the Guardian Project. Isaac spoke about network freedom and guifi.us, and demonstrated an early build of our network-planning tool. Guifi.us, our project to bring free networks like Guifi.net’s to the US. Guifi.us is a web platform enabling communities to plan, provision, and fund their own cooperative ISPs. Guifi.us will include mapping and RF planning features, community support for selected hardware platforms, tools to determine how best to backhaul networks, and a crowdfunding tool for communities to raise funds for network building. The objective of this project is to catalyze community wireless projects by providing decision support and organizing tools. The FNF is working in collaboration with Spanish networking group guifi.net, which has built a user-run cooperative network of over 20,000 nodes in Catalonia and Valencia, in an effort to bring their model to the US.
New FNF Website Launches
This quarter, we performed a complete overhaul of our public web properties, designing a custom WordPress theme in order to make it easier to find information, and establishing a uniform user experience across all of our sites. Please check the new site out at https://www.thefnf.org and let us know how we can make it even better.
The FNF has been featured by several media outlets this quarter. Gordon Cook, who since 1992 has edited and published the longest running technology policy newsletter on the Internet, wrote on the FNF as well as Guifi.net in the March/April 2013 issue of the ”COOK Report on Internet Protocol”, “DIY Commons Infrastructure in the US.” ”Harper’s Magazine” and Kansas City writer Whitney Terrell also took notice of our work, in an article entitled “Network Free K.C.” And Isaac Wilder was interviewed by Elise Gallant for the Spring/Summer 2013 issue of ”Purple Magazine”. More about the FNF in the press can be found here.
Winter Summit 2013
The FNF held our biannual summit for winter 2013 in Austin, TX, during late January. We discussed the FNF’s operating procedures and plans for 2013, worked on our technical systems, strategized our upcoming efforts in publicity and fundraising, and talked about how to launch a community network on the guifi.net model. Attending the Summit was our core team: Charles Wyble, Isaac Wilder, Tyrone Greenfield, and James Yox; artist/activist Sean McIntyre and journalist Whitney Terrell.
Board of Directors Meets
The Board of Directors decided this January to begin meeting monthly rather than twice per year, and so far in 2013 they’ve held two Board meetings, in late January and in early March. The Board strategized on how to build guifi.us and integrate it with guifi.net and with FNF’s mission. They also discussed how the Board can exercise more effective oversight of the FNF, and how to move toward making the Board more democratic by having dues-paying members elect new directors.
FNF Moves into New Office
In January, the FNF moved into our first office, in the West Bottoms neighborhood of Kansas City, MO. We are very excited to have a dedicated space where we can plan, work and build. Additionally, the core team made significant efforts to improve their own workstations for better productivity and flow.
This quarter, the FNF took in $1411.50 in revenue, and spent $4037.08, ending with $2831.43 cash in hand. All of the income came from individual donations, while the greatest portions of expenses went towards electronic equipment, colocation/hosting/backhaul costs, and travel, in that order. A more detailed report can be found on the Commons.
Join the FNF
The FNF relies on individual donors like you to keep bringing people online and developing tools to truly make the Internet a commons for all of humanity. You can help us bring about our vision of a world where networks are owned and run by all. Please consider signing up today as a monthly donor, or give a one-time contribution, on our website.