Community Tech Tidbit

Tech Tidbit: Mesh Networks and the Shared Internet

  • Our current dependence on ISP infrastructures can be dangerous during emergency situations. 
  • Mesh networks do not have the same dependencies and can prove more reliable in catastrophes. 
  • Blockchain solutions will help us communicate and coordinate more efficiently and effectively. 

A mesh network allows a node—whether a cell phone, Raspberry Pi, laptop, or local hub—to transmit and pass on data to other nodes in a non-hierarchical manner from one client to another. As technology continues to evolve, the demand to have an infrastructure scale while keeping everyone connected is highly important, yet it is not without dangers.
When a catastrophic event occurs, having the technological resources at hand to deal with emergencies is extremely important. Coordination is critical to the survival of our species. During a crisis, we must be able to communicate in order to remain informed about every facet of the situation. For example, our dependencies on  ISP infrastructures (such as servers, routers, and wires that connect us to the internet) make us vulnerable should we not have access to them. With a mesh network, if a node goes down, the network keeps running and propagating data.

Currently, there are blockchain-based projects that allow people to communicate without the need for an ISP infrastructure. For instance, RightMesh is working on an application, Flare, which is an emergency response tool that will allow people to send a “flare” for help. Others will then be able to respond to requests for resources (such as water and food) and help people in the community coordinate when disaster strikes.

This is a great first step to help unify people in catastrophic situations, as Greg Meredith mentioned in his speech during the Future of Blockchain conference. Such coordination technologies will be necessary in helping us utilize the resources around us while communicating efficiently and effectively. If we take the scalability and concurrency of the RChain platform, we will be able to reach more individuals by the tens of thousands.