Cross-posted from the Open Technology Institute blog.
Last week, a coalition of Internet rights groups launched the Open Wireless Movement, a new project which will promote shared wireless Internet access. The Open Technology Institute and OTI's Open Internet Tools Project are two of the ten groups in this coalition.
The Open Wireless Movement site (openwireless.org) provides technological and legal information about configuring a home or business WiFi router to share the connection with others, including how-to guides and information about common myths. The site includes specialized information for households, small businesses, developers, and Internet Service Providers. The Open Wireless Movement coalition is also working to develop router technology which will ultimately make it easier for people to open their networks without compromising the quality of Internet access or security.
The Open Technology Institute, a vocal proponent of open, ubiquitous Internet services, is a proud member of this coalition. We base our work around evidence that the Internet has become a vital tool, and in many cases, a necessity for accessing local and global resources. In addition to OTI’s policy advocacy and work with communities to plan and build networks, the Open Wireless Movement will contribute additional avenues to ensure that individuals and communities have access to this critical resource.
OTI works in a number of other ways to support communities in expanding access to the Internet. The Commotion Wireless Project helps create local infrastructure for communities to share Internet connectivity over mesh networks. OTI also works with public interest organizations to advocate for policies that enable community wireless infrastructure and partners with various community groups that are working to promote the digital literacy skills that are critical to success. OTI is also a key player in the International Summit for Community Wireless Networks, which brings together technology experts, policy analysts, on-the-ground specialists, and university researchers working on state-of-the-art community broadband projects.
The Open Wireless Movement, by allowing people to share critical Internet resources with other members of their communities, will help to further these efforts. Members of the Open Wireless Coalition include: the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, Free Press, Internet Archive, NYCwireless, the Open Garden Foundation, OTI’s OpenITP, the Open Spectrum Alliance, the Open Technology Institute, and the Personal Telco Project.