Got told today that I have to look at open mesh networks, this might be the first wave of open wifi acces for students.
Distance covered by one mesh pod is 150 feet = 45.72 meters
Also solar panels may be needed
A couple of years ago there was an offer to help get solar panels or solar cells in schools, I need to find some more information relating to this.
There is school gen which sounds like a possible solution. http://www.schoolgen.co.nz/
So far I found a couple of schools in Auckland which have solar panel technology installed.
One thing the students will have to sort out is best placement for this technology idea, locations of the mesh devices, and development of the secure system.
Developing an open mesh network is described in detail
Other ideas could include
Copied from http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/vodafone_nz_iphone_3g.php
This situation just screams for more public wireless access, city wide mesh networks and the like. That way you are no longer dependent on a very small number of mobile phone providers.
Here's a few pointers:
* http://www.fon.com/ : Home Wireless Hotspot community. Basic idea is that if you share your connection, you can use anyone elses connection for free. Super easy to setup, they sell cheap plug & play hardware. Not available in Australia or New Zealand yet, but anyone can set up a local competitor.
* http://www.cantenna.com/ : broadcast wifi signal over huge distances; so no excuses that this won't work in the country side.
* http://www.open-mesh.com/ : Cheap tools to set up a mesh network; that basically means a decentralized network. In other words, if enough people participate you can send data for free from one end of a city to the other at very high speeds.
These are solutions that can be build bottom up by communities and if successful will wet Vodaphone's pants, because they will lose a lot of money on their useless unaffordable 3G network.
More information on open mesh
Open mesh networks in use, gained information off twitter
Setup and configuration
https://om.coova.net/ - Access Management for Open-mesh Networks
http://coova.org/wiki/index.php/CoovaAAA - CoovaAAA is a free Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting service.
Dashboard, a way to host this ourseleves and not through open mesh
http://orangemesh.sourceforge.net/ - OrangeMesh is way to central hold your information on your own servers, this means that I dont have to see the techs to open the network up to allow our system to talk to their system