An underground alternative to the wired Internet
The Dream

The Network

An Internet INDEPENDENT network free from Governments, commercial Internet service providers, telecommunications companies, and dubius Internet regulatory bodies. Advances in secure resource sharing shall be developed to ensure interoperablility and a free flow of information between participating groups. Gateways to the Internet will of course be established, employing the best security methods known using Public Key crypto and tumbling sessions.

While much innovative and "pie in the sky"research is underway to implement highly dense wireless networks, the model for such a network is way beyond the scope of this project. Conservatively, this network will resembe the classic cellular telephone system. Where there are cell base stations servicing a local area. A high bandwidth link will interconnect these bases stations with others thereby creating a web of base stations.

The main problem with this network is the intrinsic fact that wireless long haul links are bandwidth crippled. The lower the frequency the narrower the useable bandwidth. Eventually the acquisition of a geostationary satellite will allieviate the long haul network congestion, but I see this pursuit being a few years off.

In the interim, VPN (Virtual Private Network) technology will be used to connect nodes which are unable to connect via a radio link. Eventually as the Network web spreads across the world, the VPN links will be replaced by wireless links where appropriate.

The Nodes

10GHz 10Mbit/s Data link

This will include a procedure to quickly align the link and establish communications between remote nodes. Currently, we are in the prototyping stage. Based on a circuit originally designed by Glen Elmore (N6GN), functional improvements have been made with updated components and combined with slight modifications to the original layout. Antenna design is completly original, as well as a new ethernet interface.

In order to expedite the development of this link, an interface for connecting a T1 modem to the Transceviers is underway. It will most likely be much easier to modify than the all out construction of a new ethernet interface.

This transceiver will be utilized for point-to-point connections only.

2.4GHz Commercial Equipment

This includes the popular 802.11/802.11b commercial wireless equipment. Such vendors include:

	Proxim (RangeLAN/Symphony)
	Wavelan/Orinoco 802.11b cards
	Digital Roamabout (pre 802.11 wavelan cards)

For the price, the Proxim Symphony cards seem to be the cheapest and easiest to modify. Some extensive work has been done by multplx. Symphony PCMCIA/ISA/PCI cards are generally under $100 used, slightly over $100 all brandy new.

802.11b equipment is starting to appear on the market under the $200 range for the top of the line cards (orinoco gold). Ethernet bridges can be expensive, but you can configure a PC to act as one. Unlike the symphony cards you are not locked into one vendor.

2.3GHz/1.27GHz 1.2Mbit/s CSMA links

These units are loosely based upon the S53MV designs out of Slovenia. There will be two versions of this radio transceiver. One configured for point-to-point operation, the other, configured for cellular operation. They will utilize Binary Phase Shift Keying rather than the standard Frequency Shift Keying found in most terrestrial based packet stations. Methods are being explored to reduce the discrete component count found in the existing designs with commercially available LNA's, Power Amplifiers, I-Q Modulator/Demodulators, Mixers, and up/down converters.

900Mhz FSK / BPSK - DS Spread Spectrum links

While building equipment to outfit the network is a laudable goal, it is not always the most productive and timely affair. The celluar telephony market has now produced a glut of second and third generation vehicular cellphones (brick units) that can be modified for point to point, full duplex communications in the 900MHz Amateur Radio Band.

There is also a plethora of second-hand NCR/AT&T/Lucent Technologies Wavelan cards bubbling up out from the bowels of early Corporate Wireless Lan pioneers. These units can operate at speeds of 2mbit/s over a limited range. These corporate throwaways are prime resources that can be utilized to get this network off the ground with a useable link bitrate.


Secure Data Transfer

Several layers of encryption will be employed on the non-amateur portion of the network. However, robust authentication mechanisms being explored to strengthen the packet networks of the radio amateur. A highly streamlined version of IPv6 will most likely be used for the link layer, however, since this is an NSA approved protocol, another layer of encryption will be required to keep the spooks at bay.

Development Environment

The development platforms for the project will focus on the free unix operating systems. Such as Linux, Free/Open/NetBSD, and LynxOS. They are freely obtained, are widely supported and documented, and are already widely used in the research and development sector.