[MLB-WIRELESS] Proposal: MWRP at Scouts Jamboree

Simon (NodeIRC) melbwireless at gnieslaw.com
Wed Feb 8 00:45:57 EST 2006

The Scouts are having their Jamboree (National Camp) next year in Elmore,
Victoria (North of Melbourne, near Bendigo). Having been in Scouts and
having been to the Jamboree in Sydney(2000), I remember that the Internet
access was totally unreliable and unbearably slow. The idea before I left
for Sydney was to post the Scout Troop's activities and photos for the
parents to see at home from our Troop's website. In practice I had to queue
in front of a small portable room for an hour, just to get five minutes of
Internet Access. (A Scout Troop is a contingent from a Scout Group)

The portable room consisted of the most unstable recycled hardware which
caused constant crashes (which seemed like every 5 seconds). The Internet
connection consisted of a Satellite connection downstream, and a 28.8k modem
connection upstream (shared with 15 PCs). I am not exaggerating, and it
definitely wasn't enough to get anything done.

The Scout are expecting 13,000 scouts. I'm not sure how many Troops are
going to be there (each one would probably have 1 or 2 leaders that would be
using the Internet Access to communicate back to the families). I don't know
how large the site is either (I'm guessing at least a few square

Melbourne Wireless currently has a relationship with the Hawthorn Scouts. We
use their hall and we helped them run a Wi-Fi wide game.

I propose that Melbourne Wireless initiate a partnership with the Scout
Association to deploy MWRP nodes to blanket the camp site with 802.11b/g,
deploy a long distance Bi-Directional link back to Melbourne. The Scouts
(with all of their influence) could organise an Internet backbone with a
large ISP (Like how Telstra provided the poor Internet connection and
hardware in Sydney 2000). Implementing filtering/proxy/cache/authentication
(Open Source/Free ie: ICRAplus **, Squid, ChilliSpot) shouldn't be too hard,
but let's not count our chickens before they hatch.

If this proposal is popular with Melbourne Wireless, is successfully
presented to the Scouts, and they accept our proposal, we will be building a
stronger relationship with the Scout Association. In return for providing a
wireless network for a the Jamboree, the nodes can be redeployed at various
Scout Halls to help with our 'Backbone' upon conclusion of the camp. The
equipment would belong to the Scout Association (and is theirs to redeploy
at their Scout halls), so it would be expected that they pay the equipment

It would also be a practical testing opportunity for the MWRP nodes, under
real load conditions.

Benefits to us:
- MWRP testing opportunity
- A way to get financing for MWRP nodes (even if we don't own them)
- Relationship with a large organisation with city wide physical
infrastructure (scout halls)
- Exposure to scouting members (potential MW members with expertise in
- Exposure for regular members to connect to the MW network

Benefits to them:
- Complete infrastructure to provide Scout Troops (Scout Leaders and
permitted Scouts) with Internet Access using their own equipment (Laptops
with Wi-fi - Troops can source one to borrow from one of the families if
none of the leaders have one) during Jamboree to communicate with parents
and keep a Diary of their Adventure.
- After Jamboree, the Scouts will have direct access to the MW network for
their own uses (ie: Wi-Fi Wide Game like Hawthorn Scouts, Reduced Internet
Access costs by not having to subscribe to an ISP for low-level usage 4
times a month).
- A mutual relationship with another community organisation (Melbourne
Wireless) which is a positive thing.

I would also like this bring this up at this Friday's meeting, if there is a
positive response from the list.

Opinions? Feedback?

- Simon Gnieslaw.

Useful Links:
http://www.getinthegame.com.au/content_new_photos.htm (Site Photos)
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