Mesh Networks Keep Americans Connected During Natural Disasters
Natural disasters like earthquakes and powerful storms can be a threat not only to human life, but to telecommunication systems.
When telecommunication networks go down, communities are unable to communicate with each other. But the United States has a system to help Americans get re-connected through wired or wireless technology. It also can provide important information in an emergency.
It is called mesh networking.
Mesh networks spread connectivity over a number of nodes or connection points that communicate with each other. The first such network was developed for military purposes.
Daniela Perdomo is head of goTenna, a company that specializes in mesh networking. It creates products that use low-frequency radio waves to send text messages and Global Positioning System (GPS) information.
The company's latest product is the goTenna Mesh, a mesh networking device that works independently of traditional cell phone networks.
Joshua King is lead developer at Commotion Wireless, which creates software products for mesh networks. King said one good reason for mesh networks is that if one connection goes down, others take its place.
"A mesh network can potentially route around any kind of damage, if there is another path for the traffic to go," he noted.
If at least one network point is connected to the internet, the signal can be shared. If there is no internet connection, a mesh network can still operate to provide emergency information and basic messaging services, like texts.
Greta Byrum is director of the Resilient Communities program at the New America research center.
"The idea is to make telecommunication systems more modular, more distributed. So that even if centralized points fail, you would still have working telecommunications in different areas."
King and Byrum attended a recent gathering, called Sneakercon, at Columbia University in New York City. They and other attendees met to discuss the building of offline networks in local communities.
"I think it's important for thinking about the future of utilities and telecommunications, because we're finding more and more that centralized systems just don't make sense."
Byrum and others teach communities how to build their own mesh networks with everyday equipment.
"It's about community control, community power," she said. "People start thinking about things like telecommunications sovereignty — who controls the internet, who controls what we say online, who benefits from it, who gets the data?"
Daniela Perdomo agrees that people should be more involved in issues of connectivity.
"Why can't we empower people to create their own connectivity? And create more of a people-powered, bottom-up network as opposed to a heavy infrastructure top-down network?"
I'm Jonathan Evans.
1.Natural disasters 自然灾害
Man-made and natural disasters have disrupted the Government's economic plans.
2.opposed to 反对
They came to conclusions diametrically opposed to ours.
3.benefits from 从...受益
The benefits from eating fish are cumulative.
4.thinking about 考虑
Studying stretched my mind and got me thinking about things.
1."I think it's important for thinking about the future of utilities and telecommunications, because we're finding more and more that centralized systems just don't make sense."
make sense 有意义；讲得通
On the face of it that seems to make sense. But the figures don't add up.
There are some stylistic elements in the statue that just don't make sense.
2.King said one good reason for mesh networks is that if one connection goes down, others take its place.
goes down 下跌；降落
Water becomes solid when the temperature goes down to zero.
As the cost of living goes up, my standard of living goes down.
当通讯网络中断后，社区之间将失去联系 。然而美国拥有一套系统，能利用有线和无线技术重新连接通讯网络 。该系统还可以在紧急情况下提供重要信息 。
网状网络通过许多节点或连接点传播进行通讯 。起初，该网络系统是出于军事目的而研发的 。
丹妮拉·佩尔多莫是goTenna公司总裁，这家公司专门研究网状网络 。该公司研发的产品是利用低频电波发送信息和全球定位系统信息 。
该公司最新研发的产品是goTenna Mesh，这是一种网状网络设备，可以独立于传统的手机网络二运作 。
约舒亚·金是无线联网的首席开发人员，该公司主要为网状网络开发软件产品 。他表示，网状网络的优势在于只要一处连接中断，另一处可取而代之 。
如果至少有一个网点与网络连接，信号就可以实现共享 。如果连接网络失败，网状网络仍然可提供紧急信息服务和基本短信服务 。
葛丽塔·拜卢姆（Greta Byrum）是新美国研究中心“弹性社区”项目的主任 。
“我们想让通讯系统更加模块化、分散化 。因此，即便集中网点中断，你仍然可以利用不同区域的通讯系统 。”
近期，金和拜卢姆参加了纽约城哥伦比亚大学举办的Sneakercon聚会 。他们和其他与会者讨论了在地方社区建立离线网络的问题 。
丹妮拉·佩尔多莫（Daniela Perdomo）也认为人们应该更多地参与网络连通问题 。