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State of Our Networks 2017 Mini-Conference Recap
Semaphore Demo Room, BL 417, Claude T. Bissell, 140 St. George St
40
2017-01-14
32400
64800

State of Our Networks Recap

Hard to believe State of Our Networks happened over two weeks ago. On a Saturday in January we hosted over 40 attendees for a full-day of workshops, presentations and lively conversations!

In the morning we were hands-on with Arduino-driven low power sensor networks and Raspberry Pi mesh nodes. In the afternoon we learned about the history of Toronto's networks and discussed upcoming plans with Toronto Community Networks, EtherMesh, and Toronto Mesh members. Pictures from the day are online now.

As part of that history, Dr. Zbigniew Stachniak described the role Canadian computing and networks have played in the broader internet, speaking to how the York University Computer Museum has a place in preserving that history. Lee MacNeill, Director of Toronto Free-Net addressed the history of the non-profit ISP as well as the shifting levels of government and municipal interest in supporting digital access. Dr. Catherine Middleton turned the focus to questions of connection and access in public internet and wireless projects, suggesting the need to move beyond framing these projects solely as infrastructural. Dr. Karen Louise Smith drew upon a community informatics lense to ask questions about who benefits from these projects, and what forms of equality and inclusion should we be striving for. The TAO collective surfaced important histories of local activist communications and questions around the role advocacy could play in building new networks.

During the final afternoon discussions, EtherMesh and MeshISP covered a range of policy and regulatory concerns, spending time addressing how new initiatives can 'fit' alongside Canada's robust networks. Toronto Community Networks remained rooted in the need to know your community as a first step in any initiative. Finally, Toronto Mesh considered the asymmetry of power and production in our roles on the Internet, looking to build out a "Help your Neighbour" initiative to build momentum toward joining a mesh network.

We want to thank everyone who attended, and especially those who spoke, ran a workshop, or volunteered their time. It wouldn't have been a success without you all!