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This project began in February of 2017 as part of Dhruv's thesis project for ITP. Initially it was built on Monroe Street between Bedford and Nostrand, however it was taken down later that year in order to be updated. The current installation is occurring in Bushwick.

Monroe Street Othernet ( 02/2017 - 09/2017 )

The early prototype of the Othernet created a network territory of 2 square blocks on Monroe Street in Bed Stuy. This was built as a thesis project for Dhruv Mehrotra. The project was built in partnership with the Monroe 3 block association but was discontinued due to lack of usage.

The Software

The Initial othernet software was a search engine and webpage builder that allowed neighbors to create webpages and upload pdfs to the othernet. It was written in Ruby on Rails. https://github.com/dmehrotra/the-othernet . Domains were resolved by forwarding all traffic to the server and matching urls to data saved in the database. This software is no longer supported and is no longer a part of the Othernet software suite.

The Infrastructure

Early Othernet infrastructure were Ubiquiti NSM5 nanostations running OpenWRT. This firmware was a modified version of NYCMesh's. This allowed all Othernet Infrastructure with the same SSID to automatically mesh to extend the network.

Bushwick Othernet ( current )

Eyebeam ( 10/2017 - current )

In October Dhruv Mehrotra began a residency at Eyebeam and began a rebuilding of the Othernet. The decision was made to work with community organizations rather than local government.

Partnership with POWRPLNT

In February POWRPLNT, through Salome Asega, agreed to partner with Othernet to be the central node of the network.

Mozilla ( 02/2018 - current )

In February Othernet was awarded an honorary 10,000 from Mozilla to continue development. This money is being used to create an Othernet territory in Bushwick and fund the Othernet Engineers program.

New Infrastructure

The Mozilla funding has enabled us to purchase better more robust equipment for our central node. You can read all about it here: Othernet Equipment

Litelist / StreetPost

LiteList/StreetPost came out of the Mozilla funding. This craigslist-like application allows neighbors to post events, community information, and jobs to the Othernet. Each post is given its own unique domain structure. Othernet Engineers have worked collaboratively to build and implement a terms of service and safe content moderation

Updated Infrastructure

The infrastructure is constantly evolving. Read more about our equipment here: Othernet Equipment

Othernet Engineers

The Othernet Engineers program pays high schoolers and young adults to collaborate on building an Othernet for their community. Along with teaching job training skills like network administration and web programming, the program is designed to get young adults thinking about designing safe and consentful online spaces. Our current engineers are: Andy Gimma, Dhruv Mehrotra, Edwin Reed-Sanchez, Shennelle Bingham, Danasia Robinson, Jose Díaz, and Devon Robinson. Also see Content moderation.

Installation of the First Node

Link to central node