Independence from Major Telecommunication Carriers and Internet Service Providers allows people to have free access to information as well as true competition for pricing and services. Such independence allows a degree of "resilience" that comes from being independent from Capitalism, so that depending on Capitalist ties become a choice, rather than mandatory. Many communities are finding that the independence can also save money.
While many people believe they are living in a Capitalist society with competition for pricing and services, in fact the Telecommunications companies have often divided the USA into monopolies, allowing them to charge unfair pricing and services.
Even worse, these monopoly Telecoms also apply for Subsidies from the USA Government to provide services that they often fail to deliver.
However combating this are a number of alternative service providers. These range from small independent Wireless Internet Service Providers, (WISP's) who mostly work in rural and semi rural areas but some city areas to completely independent and alternative ISP's and Network solutions such as the Freedom Tower Network who created the Internet Access for many of the OWS sites across the USA.
The ability for a community to build, own and operate it's own ISP independently of the major Telecom companies gives the community greater independence from unfair service fees, better access and illegal monitoring.
Additionally these networks can be resilient, and far harder to be shut down or access to free information limited by the whim of the government or large Telecom company.
Typically these networks use a Wireless distribution systems.
Once in place, a local network can also usurp the local telephony network as well. With Wireless handsets and Smart Mobile phones, people within a locally owned network can call each other for free, greatly reducing their own local call costs, strengthening their own network, and reducing their dependance on National carriers.
Of course Major Telecoms lobby the two Political Parties heavily to protect their monopolies and subsidies, and ensure that there is local laws as well at town planning and city planning to discourage locally owned network where possible.
With the low costs of Network distribution technologies today, it is possible to establish your own community WISP or ISP.
The Free Network Movement is one such movement that is doing that for OWS New York providing Internet Access for the OWS site in New York as well as other OWS sites.
Their vision is:-
We envision communications infrastructure that is owned and operated cooperatively, by the whole of humanity, rather than by corporations and states. We are using the power of peer-to-peer technologies to create a global network which is immune to censorship and resistant to breakdown. We promote freedoms, support innovations and advocate technologies that enhance and enable digital self-determination.
[Free Network Foundation] email@example.com
Using many of the links below and other sites you can establish your own Community ISP and leave the Heavy cost of Using Corporate Telecommunications behind you.
Here are some specific solutions that are being discussed:
[Institute for Community Self Reliance] is about local/municipal community/government networks that connect regions.
There are many popular low cost reliable products, a few worth mentioning are:-
Ubiquiti Networks www.ubni.com is a very popular product to use. Very low cost and very powerful, it is one of the most popular products uses. Very good at long range line of site distribution.
Ruckus Wireless www.ruckuswireless.com is another powerful unit, with good outdoor reliability.
http://www.wirelesscowboys.com/ A good Blog for learning about setting up a WISP.
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notes for later: 99.occupymediawiki.org, asambleavirtual.info, wiki.occupy.net and a few infrastructure ones.