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[Ham-80211] Re: Emergency Wireless Internet

Brian Webster bwebster at wirelessmapping.com
Sun Oct 9 01:44:33 UTC 2005

	I will echo your idea but take it one step further. We ally ourselves with
groups that could use our technical expertise to restore their own
communications systems and/or establish a suitable infrastructure to replace
what will not be repaired in the short term. This was the thought I had when
I went down to help the Wireless Internet teams that were featured in the NY
times/Associated press articles. I knew that the need for typical voice
traffic at whatever locations would be short lived and it would take me
longer to get there than they would need the help. Being there to help build
infrastructure to let them become self reliant was my goal and what worked
for the team I helped. For hams that want to help out longer term, than say
the first 3 to 5 days after an emergency, this is what the plan should be.
Take the time to bring things with you that can build something they can use
later on without the hams and their own personal gear. This is one of the
spirits of amateur "give the government a pool of trained communicators in a
time of need". If all we want to do is talk on HF and VHF nets and do
nothing else, we will lose a bunch more spectrum. Like it or not. When OTHER
(read - the pressure from the commercial wireless industry) groups can make
more use of spectrum and do it to benefit a larger segment of the
population, it is the governments duty to make it so. We are not entitled to
the spectrum if others can make better use of it for more people. I'm sure
that statement will start a flame war, but sometimes we need to look at the
reality from the other side of the fence.
	Hams would have been a huge help to the wireless internet service providers
I went down to help. These guys went in without any sponsorship (including
government) and decided they were just going to get it done and now. Hams
could have helped climb towers to align dishes on microwave paths, install
wireless radios at the agencies who needed the communications, set up the
computer networks/routers, install VOIP phone systems and any other
communications related tasks. These are all the technologies the pool of
current hams can deal with. The no-code tech license brought a lot of new
technical people in to the ranks that know how to make these things work. As
hams were are also trained how to do it under adverse conditions. The
dealing with adversity is what would help others get through the disaster
and make things happen. Something as simple as me rolling in with my own
camper with a hot shower was a huge help. As a ham I knew I wanted to show
up self contained. All the other folks there had no concept of this, but
they did have a willingness to do things and make a difference. We are
communicators, no matter how we get it done and with whatever technology and
frequencies should make no difference. Review your EMCOMM I manual, it
states this. We need to continue to think outside the box and make it happen
where others can't. When we stop doing that, ham radio dies and the spectrum
becomes more valuable to the people of America who own it, to do other

Thank You,
Brian Webster N2KGC
Catskill District EC NY
RF Engineer and Consultant
Taxpayer/American Citizen

-----Original Message-----
From: Larry Cerney [mailto:lcerney at viawest.net]
Sent: Saturday, October 08, 2005 8:09 PM
To: 'TAPR Mailing List for Ham Radio Use of 802.11'
Subject: RE: [Ham-80211] Re: Emergency Wireless Internet (Mark Miller)

-----Original Message-----
From: ham-80211-bounces at lists.tapr.org
[mailto:ham-80211-bounces at lists.tapr.org] On Behalf Of Alex Fraser
Sent: Saturday, October 08, 2005 11:29 AM
To: TAPR Mailing List for Ham Radio Use of 802.11
Subject: Re: [Ham-80211] Re: Emergency Wireless Internet (Mark Miller)

We hams should just do what we do best with out the huge bureaucracy and
it's culture of restrictions and control.
Hams could be so much more agile and the country would be much better
served too.

[Larry Cerney] A group of Hams from the Colorado DRT (Disaster Response
Team) came back from N.O., LA. and Miss. with some valuable lessons learned.
The one that really stands out is the cellular phone companies were climbing
all over one another to restore cell service when the Colorado DRT was
finally asked to come down and help out two weeks after the K event.  They
were given assignments in both states and each time they arrived at a
location after a long and hazardous drive, they were told "Thanks, but cell
service is back."

The DRT spent a great deal of time and effort to get in to the affected area
and didn't do a heck of a lot of good.(their words, not mine) The suggestion
was made that the Hams (ARES & RACES, but less so RACES who are
pseudo-governmental) should make all possible effort to provide the initial
response to event like hurricanes and earthquakes and not wait for the
governmental agencies to get it together long enough to think "Oh yeah, Ham
radio operators."

I would suggest that the ORGANIZED Ham radio groups (ARES, RACES, Red Cross
and SA communications and others) start to move to staging areas outside the
effected areas, but with in a 8 hour drive, and contact the Section
Coordinator for the area and notify them of the assets they have available.
Use those assets outside the effected area to set up resource nets on HF and
stand by to move in early and keep an eye out behind you for Cell companies
and their herd of COWs!


Larry  K0ANI
Former East Slope of Colorado EC

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