Project Phoenix

 
 
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Project Phoenix is a collaborative enterprise spearheaded by Arizona Blockchain Initiative in partnership with socially conscious organizations.


We’re a vehicle of inclusion for communities, which will benefit from having access to knowledge and information.

We empower the community by creating programs that will better prepare them for a modern workforce.


Let’s build a mesh network…

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Our community project is our mesh network project, it applies decentralized technology to bring network access to underserved communities in Phoenix. This way, we will provide the tools to gain the skills needed to fulfill existing I.T. jobs in Arizona -through our Tech Pathways project..

In order to create sustainability, we will be empowering and educating the community in building the network, providing the knowledge to maintain it, and creating a path to keep it viable over time.


Goals

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  1. Increase internet access to underserved communities through decentralized wireless technology.

  2. Educate community members on the fundamentals of basic and advanced computer skills such as; basic computer literacy, computer programming, cyber security, etc. to increase the pathway to Phoenix’s growing tech industry.

  3. Empower community members to be prepared to manage and maintain their community network to stay connected.


Pilot location

Our pilot project will be located between 7th Avenue and 7th Street, from Broadway Road to Southern Road.

 
 

Wireless Mesh Networks

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A mesh refers to rich interconnection among devices or nodes. Wireless mesh networks often consist of mesh clients, mesh routers and gateways. The mesh clients are often laptops, cell phones and other wireless devices while the mesh routers forward traffic to and from the gateways which may, but need not, be connected to the Internet.

Project Phoenix hopes to bring the concept of decentralized community-driven networking to the general public similar to projects like NYCMesh and Guifi Net. To better illustrate the ultimate goal of the project, Project Phoenix has developed a simple demonstration of mesh technologies leveraging easy to acquire equipment running free and open-source software. The end goal is simply establishing a clear and practical example of how mesh technologies work for anyone interested in the project.


What is a mesh network?

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When you're at home, your devices usually connect to a router, which is directly connected to the internet via a modem utilizing either a phone, cable, or fiberoptic line. When you're out and about -- and if your phone has a data plan -- you're connecting to and hopping between a network of cell phone towers. A mesh allows any device with WiFi capabilities to connect to each other, and then data finds its fastest way to the internet by hopping between all of the interconnected devices.

We still usually organize a mesh with dedicated devices performing a similar function to a router, because it allows us to connect these gateways to each other, which then look for an uplink that has a connection to the internet through the traditional phone, cable, or fiberoptic lines. A mesh network intelligently connects all of these interconnected devices, and allows people to share an internet connection to those who may not have the means to access the internet.


It’s ALIVE!! (We have a prototype)

We had a Showcase Demo Day on November 17, 2018, at the South Mountain Community College campus.

For our demo, we've acquired four HP Elitebook 840s and one Raspberry pi 3 B+. The HP's run a free and open-source OS along with the Raspberry Pi. Networking is handled by standard protocols except on Layer 2 of the OSI model. To optimize the network, we're using the B.A.T.M.A.N routing protocol which specializes in multi-hop mobile ad-hoc networking. As of Kernel version 2.6.38, the batman-adv kernel module has been included with the Linux kernel.

 One laptop acts both as a mesh-client and a mesh-gateway. The mesh-gateway is responsible for bridging the wireless "mesh" network to a mesh-uplink. The mesh-uplink is responsible for managing logical addressing on the Network-Layer. It also is set up as a masquerade to forward traffic between mesh nodes and outside networks.


What have we been up to?

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  • We had our Showcase Demo Day on November 17, 2018, when we had the opportunity to feature our live prototype

  • We’re regularly featured in events hosted by our friends from the Cybersecurity Council of Arizona Career Conversations, and the Cybersecurity & Basic Hacks -both at Galvanize.

  • We may also be found learning/networking at tech and community events.

  • We presented Project Phoenix to the kids attending Code Day on February 16-17!! It was a great event, in which we had the opportunity to witness so much potential and share our mesh network prototype.


What’s next?

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  • We’re currently testing our prototype at the CISCO lab in Gateway Community College.

  • We’re developing our stewardship program, which will train communities about the installation, maintenance and troubleshooting of mesh networks.

  • We’re looking for volunteers who would like to help us deploy our network in the pilot area.

  • We’re preparing to announce new partnerships and programs.