[MLB-WIRELESS] Proposal: MWRP at Scouts Jamboree

Ratbaggy wireless at smithsgully.net
Wed Feb 8 23:58:38 EST 2006

The nearest high ground is Mt. Burrumboot where Telstra have their base station which is indeed used to cover the Elmore field days site.  There are also a few other towers on the hill for local two way radio services etc.  Mt Burrumboot has excellent views over some pretty flat country.  It is fully cleared with a good track to the top but alas it is on private property, the track starts next to the farmers house.

So to use the site, one would either have to swing a deal with one of the existing tennants or get permission from the farmer to set up in the paddock where we would need to arrange our own power.  (Multiply this by at least 5 sites if we want to bring it up all the way from Melbourne)

Given the distances involved I think the only real option would be to pull intermet from DSL somewhere in Elmore.  Relay it (if required) to the Jamboree site and then do some hotspots etc. 

Then again, things have changed a lot in the last 5 years and you may find the big T (or other carriers) are involved.  I would be very surpised if there were no phones on site and given that, how hard would it be to get DSL directly to site.

Telstra Countrywide are big into making a name for themselves these days and thrive on getting involved with events like this.  They even set up a temporary base station (free to the organisers) at the Meredith music festival.  So if we are serious we'll probably need to make an offer to the scouts early before someone else jumps in!  Or at least check if they already have a sponsor or are interested at all.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Simon (NodeIRC) 
  To: melbwireless at wireless.org.au 
  Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2006 12:45 AM
  Subject: [MLB-WIRELESS] Proposal: MWRP at Scouts Jamboree

  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 kilometers). 

  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 costs. 

  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 Linux/Networking/RF)
  - 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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