Othernet has failed as "firstworld" toy

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You are correct about one thing, but incorrect about others.

Yes, Othernet has failed to meet its goals. Although there have been numerous pilot projects in rural and remote areas of the world, the goal of creating a universal information service has not been met. This is not a technology problem, it’s a business problem. It’s possible that the business issue will be resolved with the introduction of an even lower-cost device, but that is really no guarantee to success, as distribution of devices is the next major obstacle.

The resource of satellite bandwidth is not in limited supply. It’s very important that customers in Europe and North America continue to purchase receivers (when they are available) as those sales are the source of funds for the satellite bandwidth. Without existing, paying customers there would be no Othernet broadcast at all.

When Dreamcatchers are once again produced and sold, it will be customers in North America and Europe (hobbyists, generally) who will subsidize satellite bandwidth for places where no business model can exist.

One thing to note is that this is a broadcast service, so it is not possible for the signal to be hoarded. The problem is not with the broadcast resource. The problem is in paying for and distributing receivers.


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I don’t believe it is the responsibility of customers to care about expansion of Othernet to placed that have limited access to information. I know that there are/were many people that believe in that ideal–and they supported our work very early on–but others see it as a novelty/curiosity, or way to better understand radio communications. The customer did not sign up for this uphill battle like I did.

I believe, like you, that there should be a free information service, similar to the Encyclopedie of the Enlightenment. But that belief is completely independent of the name-change from Outernet to Othernet, as we ran into trademark-issues with “Outernet”. Though we did have grounds to contest the trademark, I felt that the costs would be better used for other purposes.

The schematic for the Dreamcatcher is already available, but building a DIY receiver (assuming that parts are available) is substantially more expensive than purchasing a device that has been manufactured in a factory. Not only does it take very strong soldering skills to build a receiver, the single-unit cost of each component is sometimes 10-times higher than what is paid when purchasing in larger quantities.

I agree that the general problem of information access impacts a large percentage of humanity. My guess is that 10% of the world would find Othernet to be useful (especially since it’s free). But addressing this problem quickly requires a substantial capital investment, which I have not had great luck in acquiring.

I previously assumed that foundations, philanthropists, and international development organizations were the best source of funds to subsidize such a project, but after having dealt with these types of organizations for years, I know this is not the path to success. Correction: It’s not a path which I have found fruitful.


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Wow. Just, wow.

And while I’m at it, let me preach about colonialism to someone who’s heritage is Middle Eastern/Subcontinental Indian.

Oh, and you’re a failure in business too. Over there in your North American colony.

Yep. That should cover it.

I’m sorry Syed. Please understand that we don’t all think this way. I’ve been out of this project for a while due to my own “business failures” but otherwise would be hoarding the bandwidth myself.

Keep up the sterling work!!!


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No offense but you are a jerk. I can’t think of any other way to say it. Take your nasty attitude somewhere else. Everyone here fully understands the objectives. Wow.

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I am not writing anything to discuss with you. Calling anyone on this board selfish is beyond unacceptable. If I was moderator I would block you.

You are not validating any of your vindictive negative commentary by repeating the same buzzwords over again. Please take your ideological approach back to where you came from and don’t bother us with irrelevant slurs.

Nobody has ever been convinced by insulting them. If you want to bring a point across, rethink your strategy. If you want to feel better by diminishing anyone else, go do it somewhere else.

Oh, the burden you must carry! The voice of the worlds downtrodden… but what have you contributed? Nothing.

Why hasn’t this person been banned?? I don’t understand why he is allowed to spew this hate.

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Someone said, “Why hasn’t this person been banned?” Easy answer. Syed is a professional, and in the USA, god willing, we still are allowed to speak our mind regardless of the content.

As someone who has followed this project from the beginning… It’s frustrating to see someone take cheap-shot-personal-stabs at a team who is trying.

My background is that of a healthcare professional, and volunteer for international disaster relief agency. I’m an emergency nurse to make a living, and play with radios and related gear that I see helping out missions when it comes to my disaster relief work a side-project. That’s how I ‘give back’ because I can’t design PCBs, or write software.

Ayozek. My questions to you is: “What have you done to contribute to make things better?”

I realize everyone has different expectations. Different goals. Different resources to bring to the table, so that everyone can benefit.

So, again I ask, how have you helped to make this project succeed? My guess, If I may answer that for you, is ‘I haven’t’. You have done nothing.

As they say, “Half the battle to being successful is showing up.” Syed and his team does, in fact, show up. Still. After countless setbacks and struggles with, what ultimately hurts us all in when meeting a difficult project goal. Money.

Money that they do not have to play with like say… Elon Musk.

This project is a struggle. It has been from the start. Yet now in 2022, It still progresses.

Remind me again. How have you contributed? Without knowing you, I can place you into one of two categories. Someone who ‘shows up’ and contributes vs. someone who complains and offers nothing but negativity.

I don’t need to know the answer to that question, because we already know the answer to that question.

It may come to a surprise to you what the financial cost of commissioning satellite time (bandwidth) is. I think I’m shooting a little too high on my expectations of your knowledge of the bigger picture here. My firm guess is that you fall into the: ‘guy who complains online a lot about something for which he has a tenuous grasp of the overall picture.’ category.

I’m quite impressed that Syed took the time to reply to you. I sure wouldn’t have.

Your complaining is getting the way of progress. However slow or fast that progress is. You are a waster of the time of smart people. People with goals. People wish a mission plan. People that have a proven record of trying consistently, despite struggles that others would have chosen to abandon. People that don’t fit your selfish personal-timeline.

I’ll try to help you out here so you don’t need to frustrate yourself over any of the Othernet stuff anymore.

I can help you sleep better as night.

You sir, can ‘help’, by just stepping aside. Going away (not making a fool of yourself by posting anymore).

Put up, or shut up


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