Community Networks and Lighting


On my LinkedIn group, Rural and Remote Community Broadband, I was just reminded about a venture tha I was involved in a few years ago and it involved looking at revenue generation opportunities for locally owned open access community networks using street lights for network infrastructure.

What I was not aware of then was the fact that the older style street lamps when they started to fail, started to flicker, and eventually damaged the ballast, the most expensive part of the street light. What this particular company had was a patent that monitored the light and would turn it off before damage was done. Of course the only way to tell if a light was out for whatever reason was only if someone notified you or road crews were sent out to check them in the night. Intersections without adequate lighting provided the greatest risk and liability to a community.

Basically a system was devised initially to turn on a bright LED light visible in the daylight when the lamp was turned off. The next step was to network them together to report the failures centrally as well as having the capability to reduce the power to the lights to save energy costs during say 1;00am to 5:00am in the morning. These savings then became some of the revenue associated with providing the open access network infrastructure for not only Internet coverage and community WiFi access but meter reading another source of revenue.

The technology has evolved considerably since then but the basic returns on investment are still there. There are several companies now in this field of endeavor. The one that I worked with was Streetlight Intelligence, in Victoria, British Columbia, http://www.streetlightiq.com/.

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Community Networks and Redundancy


Redundancy, load sharing, fail soft, fail safe, plus many other technical terms accentuate the need for adequate safe guards.  These safe guards and associated processes need to be at the personal level, not just at the family, business, association, institution, and community level.

It is approximately 3:00am in the morning and I was awakened in the middle of the night, which seems to becoming a more common occurrence.  So typically unable to get back to sleep I set down at the computer to work as I’m self employed and only have to worry about working for one idiot.  What I’ve discovered is that quite often our Internet service provider brings down the network for maintenance at this time.  Our cable modem’s lights are indicating that it is going through its self diagnostic procedures: am I okay?;  is the PC still connected?;  is the Internet still accessible?; and so on repetitively till the world responds.   It is odd that I don’t see a non availability credit on our invoice.  In more ways than one, the economic injustice of this has got to be a real problem for those that actually have to work at this time of the day.   

Cloud computing has to be the greatest technological marketing farce wrought upon the naïve and gullible.  I’m sure that if the globalists and the New World Order had their way, people, us peasants, would only have dumb devices like those decades ago linked to a central mainframe.

Unfortunately if most people in the community weren’t sheeple, what should be apparent to them for community economic development is the need for a community owned networks with alternative and redundant backhauls.  My community of Maple Valley, Washington, is basically, as a community, well, how can I say it politely?, I can’t, they are technologically inbred and suffer from NIMBY disorders, that is, Not In My Back Yard, unless the local cronies and want-to-be cronies can somehow take credit for outsider ideas.

I guess on a personal level I’m going to have to investigate our own backup and load sharing access to the Internet and investigate how we can move more cloud computing processes onto a personal cloud, family cloud, business cloud, and community cloud.  You’d think that the cellular companies would come up with a load sharing modem that could support multiple backhaul connections using cellular data, tethering, as a fall back because it is way too expensive to use otherwise.

Oh, got to go, my cable modem indicates that something has been resolved and doesn’t quite know what to do as its lights appear to be gagging.  Time to turn it off, wait 30 seconds, and in the process pray, and turn it back on.  Bingo!  Bye!

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