Community Owned Wireless Mesh in Rural Karnataka
COWMesh (Community Owned and/or Operated Wireless Mesh) is a mechanism for communities to take ownership of local communications and reduce the cost of access to information while also demystifing the building blocks of Internet. COWMeshes use WiFI and other low cost deregulated media to share content locally, deploy services, for sub-communities who curate content for their needs and utilise a hyper-media archive architecture for their story telling, publishing and navigation needs or for online classes during the lockdown times of 2020.
Attempt to bring community ownership and delibrate on different technologies available over time started after 2004 Tsunami and has progressed every few years to a more viable state.
Community owned mesh networks and radios began with Namma School Radio where old phone booths were converted into radio nodes, powered by Raspberry Pi devices. The servers were powered by solar panels. It has now been setup with several nodes using Libre Routers and served a number of students attend online classes and facilitated some IT workers from the village to work from home!