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[Ham-80211] Re: Emergency Wireless Internet

Brian Webster bwebster at wirelessmapping.com
Sun Oct 9 03:34:14 UTC 2005

Comments in line

-----Original Message-----
From: kd4e [mailto:kd4e at verizon.net]
Sent: Saturday, October 08, 2005 6:49 PM
To: TAPR Mailing List for Ham Radio Use of 802.11
Subject: Re: [Ham-80211] Re: Emergency Wireless Internet

 > Brian Webster wrote:
> 	I will echo your idea but take it one step further. We ally ourselves
> groups that could use our technical expertise to restore their own
> communications systems and/or establish a suitable infrastructure to
> what will not be repaired in the short term. This was the thought I had
> I went down to help the Wireless Internet teams that were featured in the
> times/Associated press articles.

Can you share some details of what your wireless team has
to offer in field deployment?

Is it really local-talent-specific or could others duplicate
what you have created?

>>>>Any ham would have been capable of doing what they did. They had support
of equipment manufacturers and a $250,000 line of credit based on trust of
good judgment. They deployed links in the unlicensed spectrum of 5.8 GHz and
900 MHz with wireless broadband equipment from mostly Trango Broadband since
they along with Pac Wireless supplied free equipment to do the job. With
this they brought 45 mbs of broadband to the devastated areas of Bay St.
Lois and Waveland MS. These were areas that were ground zero of Katrina. I
can't begin to explain what I saw there. A 30 foot wall of water does a lot
of damage to everything, including Telco cabinets and rips it to shreds.

> Something as simple as me rolling in with my own
> camper with a hot shower was a huge help.

It occurs to me that better pop-up campers provide
a shower, sink, stove, toilet, and AC.  Sure would be
a whole lot cheaper than a camper, cost less in fuel,
and wouldn't tie up huge resources when not in use.

>>>> My comments are use what you have at hand, if you have a pop-up and
feel you can self sustain then bring it on. Nothing wrong with that. I
happened to have a big camper and the 6 folks that occupied it liked it.
Especially the AC and hot shower. It was hot down there, 100 degrees the day
I left. If you can live with what you bring and not be a strain to the
system you are trying to help, then anything works.

Did you see Hams with those?

>>> I did not see any of these, I had a huge 27 foot trailer, I ended up at
the EOC at Stenos Airport after a while and they had a lot of services
there. I saw a ham group from Portsmouth VA with their awesome Comms trailer
show up the day I did, but it was not a camper and I don't know what they
had to be self sufficient if necessary.

I have a van to pull the thing and that is a daily
use vehicle -- it would also be more secure for the
storage of items (vs the pop-up) if away from the
vehicle.  (And a wireless link could be tied to the
alarm that would signal my HT if triggered by a

>>> In this case that would be overkill and you would be spending too much
time worrying about the non-existent. Looting and lawlessness was not a
problem where I was. There was a genuine desire to help by all in this area
and fear was not a big issue. NOLA and the shootings were a different story
and a different State.

> We are communicators, no matter how we get it done
> and with whatever technology and frequencies should
> make no difference.

The Feds are changing perspective on this -- they want
to control what freqs and gear are used for certain types
of comms -- I presume to limit the media snoopers who do
what they did in Katrina -- promote falsehoods that harmed
the response effort in their desperate effort to sell
ads and borrow credibility by being first.  Sigh.

>>> Don't get me on that soapbox about the general public being so naive
about news outlets and their main purpose of selling advertising for a
profit. We have to many news outlets now with cable and the like, thus the
sensational news media. I am sure there are many news editors sickened by
this but they must do what is necessary to keep their company in business
and keep their paycheck coming in. The general public needs to just start
tuning them out to make this situation change, that won't happen but it is a
good thought :-)

> Review your EMCOMM I manual, it states this.

Again, times are changing and security protocols are being
tightened daily.  We need to know how we will acquire
access authorization.  We need to know what those sponsoring
agencies expect of us.

>>>> Have all the security you want, but when basic human needs for survival
come in to play, any help is welcomed and security crap goes out the window.
You would be amazed at the stupid things that hindered good help getting to
folks in these areas due to terrorist attack mentality on a natural disaster

>>>> Problem is the sponsoring agencies think only of their communications
needs, not the population that was just decimated. They have no interest in
getting communications back up for them. I witnessed this first hand and
that is what our project tried to overcome. There was a big level of
arrogance by government agencies and their pompous attitude that they needed
communications for their job and everyone else be dammed. From the agency
level there was absolutely no plans to give the general population a quick
recovery of communications. That is what I am talking about hams doing. When
you represent the masses so comes the government support.

> We need to continue to think outside the box and make it happen
> where others can't.

Absolutely!  But we are going to have to snug-up our alliances
with specific organizations and be certain we are pre-staged
in terms or training and gear for multiple scenarios as well
as physically pre-staged post-crisis.

>>>> But when they don't have a clue about the infrastructure that will be
destroyed in a disaster, planning means nothing. They only realize these
things when it doesn't work. That's where us geeks come in. Just show up and
make it work again.

> 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 things.

You mean CW is not the answer to everything?  ;-)

>>>> Hmmmmm

Seriously, I have been preaching that for years ... at least
since I was a SEC for a while here in West Central FL.

>>>> Old habits die hard.

The challenges to this are FCC restrictions, goofy decisions
at the ARRL re. outrageously costly proprietary "solutions"
like Pactor III, lack of clarity vis-a-vis key MOU's with
Red Cross, Salvation Army, SBC Disaster Assistance, CCA -
Disaster Response, and others, and manpower challenges.

The DMAT structure is one that lends itself to a really
good volunteer-training but Fed-employee-when-deployed
option.  http://www.fl3dmat.org/

Thanks! & 73, doc kd4e
Echoes of Eden Blog: http://bibleseven.com/blog1/blog.html

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      KD4E     =============================================
West Central Florida

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