Geeks Without Frontiers Announces Final Development of Low Cost, Open Source, Wi-Fi Software
August 3, 2011 (Mountain View, California) –Geeks Without Frontiers (GEEKS), an initiative of the not for-profit Manna Energy Foundation, focused on using technology and social enterprise to have a positive impact on a billion people in 10 years, today announces the final development of an innovative, low cost, open source, Wi-Fi software technology facilitated by a grant from the Tides Foundation.
GEEKS expects that this technology, built mainly by Cozybit, managed by GEEKS and I-Net Solutions, and sponsored by Google, Global Connect, Nortel, One Laptop Per Child, and the Manna Energy Foundation, will enable the development and rollout of large-scale mesh Wi-Fi networks for atleast half of the traditional network cost. This is a major step in achieving the vision of affordable broadband for all, capable of bringing tremendous economic and social benefits to millions of people, especially in areas where legacy broadband models are currently considered to be uneconomical.
“By driving down the cost of metropolitan and village scale Wi-Fi networks, millions more people will be able to reap the economic and social benefits of significantly lower cost Internet access,” explained Michael Potter, one of the founders of the GEEKS initiative. “GEEKS is honored to work with the Tides Foundation, Google, and others, in moving towards making the dream of significantly lower cost global access a reality.”
Geeks specially recognizes Javier Cardona of Cozybit for his key role in this project and who, together, with security expert Dan Harkins, have worked to ensure that the GEEKS Wi-Fi software utilizes the strongest authentication methodology known to exist for mesh networks, providing exceptional security. Harkins confirms that his approach of SAE (Simultaneous Authentication of Equals) is secure to offline dictionary attacks. In addition to secure authentication, the latest release of open80211s (o11s) implements the AMPE (Authenticated Mesh Peering Exchange) which enables multiple authenticated nodes to encrypt traffic between themselves. Combining SAE and AMPE creates an unprecedented level of security in mesh networks. This combination of high level security and open source code will help to ensure that new networks utilizing o11s are materially safer and yet significantly lower cost to deploy.
GEEKS also recognizes Andrew Gold of I-Net Solutions, and Karl Garcia of Google who, in developing two free Wi-Fi networks currently delivering free broadband to more than 100,000 people in California, helped define the components of low-cost highly-scalable mesh Wi-Fi.
The next step in the GEEKS project is to complete the current open source implementation of the upcoming IEEE mesh standard 802.11s which is expected be ratified in the 4th quarter of this year. The software is currently available at www.o11s.org