Federating Do-It-Yourself ISPs from around the world

Collaborative map of DIY ISPs initiatives

Last December, the FDN Federation attended the 30th Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg.

It was a very fruitful event, which allowed us to meet many DIY ISP initiatives or community networks from all around the world. We discussed and exchanged about our goals, our difficulties, and possible solutions. It was also an opportunity for every project to present their tools.



Y U NO ISP: taking back the net

Taziden gave a wonderful talk about the FFDN, our members, our motivations, and our core values: a neutral access to the Internet, together with a local infrastructure. The video is already available online.

While the talk was early in the morning, the room was completely packed! Drawing that much interest came as a delightful surprise. This shows that our message is relevant in our days of mass spying and unilateral control of the intrastructure.

A database of DIY ISPs from around the world

The congress was the opportunity to publicly launch our fantastic map of DIY ISPs: http://db.ffdn.org. It was mostly written by a member of CAFAI, part of the FFDN, and it's free software. Every ISP sharing our core values can add its information on the map, so that it's easier to know about all the wonderful DIY ISPs initiatives. Maybe there is even one in your city!

Less than a few hours after the tool was presented, we heartily noticed that several markers had been added to the map, including one in Africa! This is very rewarding, as one of our missions is to allow projects to know each other and communicate.

Workshop on DIY ISPs

Taziden's talk was followed by a workshop. About 30 people from various countries (Germany, Belgium, Canada, Austria, Slovenia and France) gathered around a table and discussed.

Each participant described its own project (or idea of a project). An interesting point was the diversity of approaches: neighborhood communities, student-run networks, community networks, new projects, defunct projects... We then exchanged on the difficullties we encountered while running our ISPs or community networks.

At the end of the debate, the conclusion was quite clear: DIY ISPs of the world, unite! More specifically, we need tools to:

  1. get to know each other
  2. document technical resources (network, administrative procedures, etc)
  3. document legal considerations and possible legal issues

The FFDN already provides some tools: an international mailing list and, of course, our wonderful map.

To further strenghten the bonds between DIY ISPs, a wiki was launched in the wake of the workshop: http://www.diyisp.org. The content is still bare; we call for every DIY ISP around the world to share bits of their knowledge with the global community.

Let's all move forward together: there are many DIY ISPs out there, each with great ideas, tools and an eager determination to share!