„The sleeping beauty of mesh has been kissed into life by the community,“ explains Elektra in her book. The community has made it possible to have decentral wireless networks which connect small local cells, automatically connected by intelligent software (Aichele 2007 p. 15)
In this chapter, a closer look at developments around mesh networks is taken, based on a study trip to Barcelona, supplemented by further research. This chapter also asks the difficult question, how the mystifications of technology might be overcome. Are better mesh routing protocols really the answer to all problems?
This chapter throws a closer look at the different models used economically by Freifunk and Guifi. In particular, it investigates in which ways the fact that Guifi has a mixed political economy contributed to its growth. This sub-chapter also investigates the terms in which network freedom is defined and with which other ideas and measures it is connected.
The social technologies of the wireless community network are technologies specifically developed to support social goals, such as community networking. Typically, new technologes are developed by large firms or the state. The achievements of wireless community networks demonstrate that there is an alternative, community based innovations. This chapter presents the genealogy of some of the key technologies needed for wireless community networking and discusses their social content.
The Copenhagen Interpolation had induced confidence into the very small number of participants, including a delegation of three from Berlin. In Berlin, the Domain Freifunk.net was registered in January 2003. The name was coined by Monic Meisel and Ingo Rau over a glass of red wine. Their initial impulse, according to Monic Meisel, was to create a website to spread the idea and make the diverse communities that already existed visible to each other. They wanted a domain name that should be easily understood, a catchy phrase that transported the idea.