Monday, May 24, 2010

Fab Fi

I first heard about the Fab Fi Afghanistan project on NPR.  I'll let the Fab Fi site's wiki do the 'splaining instead of me:

"abFi is an open-source, FabLab-grown system using common building materials and off-the-shelf electronics to transmit wireless ethernet signals across distances of up to several miles. With Fabfi, communities can build their own wireless networks to gain high-speed internet connectivity---thus enabling them to access online educational, medical, and other resources. Project Summary (as of April 7, 2010)
  • 45 remote FabFi nodes are currently deployed in and around Jalalabad, Afghanistan
  • Longest link is 6,000m (3.72mi)
  • Data throughput 11.5Mbps
  • System extensible by anyone
  • Materials to make an endpoint link are $60US and available locally"

To me, this sounds like the very definition of cyberpunk.  It truly is a social revolution.  These are people in a fairly low standard of living, utilizing the materials they have on hand to build what they need in order to access the Internet.  This is the punk, DIY mentality at its finest and most productive.  "I have just as much right to computer access as anyone, so I'm going to take it!"
This is a movement of the future, folks.  I predict more and more setups like these coming out of the most remote and neglected places you can think of.

Check out their site at Fab Lab Afghanistan.
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