Reception Report Georgia Strait (Ketchekan, Alaska, to Vancouver Island)

Elevation angle of 20 degrees with a true bearing of 131 degrees. SNRs varied between -10 dB and -14 dB with Rssi of -78 to -81 dBm. Receiving 95 % valid packets as a result of periodic signal loss. In this area there is no satellite (except Othernet), radio, TV, shortwave or cellular service.

As an interesting side lite of the trip down the Canadian inside passage on the Georgia Strait - - I set my terminal up in an out of the way place on our small ship (170 foot adventure ship) while we were on straight coarse lasting 1 or 2 hours. Using a battery pack, it downloaded enough news and weather to be of real value when the terminal was off line. I shared the content with a few people who marveled over the technology.

After a brief explanation of Othernet, a lively discussion ensued as to why the billions of people on Earth (without internet) need internet (one or two-way) AT ALL. People need safety, food, clean water, and health care first - - so the debate went on. Ken

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Were you in a village?

No - - I was on a ship doing long voyage tracks allowing me to leave my terminal unattended to download data. Ken

And the easy answer is that if used properly outernet is like having a library of useful books and a daily news report among other resources.
Imagine being dropped into a zero contact wilderness with or without one or several of following:
Compass & Map (with marked resources and hazards)
Water Filter
Survival Manual (instructing how to make tools above and recognize resources and hazards)

The tools are useful but with the manual or previous training they can all be made by the person on site, ideally they would have both tools, reference, and prior training.
The hope is that Outernet is a ladder from survival manual and then up the increasingly more comfortable steps of Maslow’s pyramid of needs for the community and helps them bootstrap the potable water, sanitation, farming and warning of agricultural blights, manufacture, even escaping the path of violence or natural disaster.
So if a station, battery, and solar cell as well as several phones, tablets, or OLPCs is priced less than maybe a few hundred meters of drinking water grade pipe but teaches how to filter, treat, and store water, provide basic medical care, improve crop yield, and spin up cottage economy why not do both and then some.
There are some cases where profit economics gets in the way of helping people but making a resource available especially an educational force multiplier doesn’t stop another NGO from providing other services, or a village council from paying cash at a hardware store for an Outernet terminal. I have heard a similar argument made that homeless people in the developed world shouldn’t be permitted to own mobile phones as their need for a safe home is universally more important than personal communications. Not everyone in the developing world is starving to death or dying of dysentry, some just have crappy communications infrastructure and weak access to education.

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Yes, agreed, though right now we are focusing almost of all of our efforts on getting into pushing out a finished product that is a lot less DIY. Once we are in a production and sales rhythm, a lot more time will be sent on content and user experience.

100% on getting Outernet beyond DIY, it has to be a weather resistant hardware store or free-shipping-China experience for 99%of the world’s inhabitants; x10 for people in remote areas.
Many people I know for instance play with RTL-SDR, but the number worldwide is probably in the thousands who experiment with even this low barrier to entry hack.
I feel like even aiming a satellite dish or the concept that there is a equatorial plane extending out into space where the invisible geostats live is a tricky concept for many university educated westerners much less aiming at that bird using a signal strength meter, compass, and a plumb line protractor.

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