Free Network Definition / Freedoms 2.0 – restoring consistency


We’ve received quite a bit of feedback regarding the “four freedoms”
and FND being inconsistent. The various versions became inconsistent due
to a prolonged, convoluted and disjointed editorial process that spanned
multiple continents, months of time and almost 20 people.

Our apologies for any confusion this has caused.

At this time the wiki has been updated to reflect the
version as defined at top of NCL. They are:

* You have the right to join the network, and the responsibility to
extend this set of rights to anyone, under these same conditions.
* You have the right to understand the network, to know its
components, and to spread knowledge of its elements and principles.
* You have the right to offer services and content to the network on
your own terms.
* You have the freedom to use the network for any purpose as long as
you don’t harm the operation of the network itself, the rights of other
participants, or the principles of neutrality that allow contents and
services to flow without deliberate interference.

Please find it online here:

Thank you.

Keeping tabs on FNF


Going forward, each Sunday at 7:30PM CST the leadership team will have
it’s weekly conference call. This call is open to anyone who wishes to
participate. The call will be (ideally) 30 minutes in length, and is an
opportunity for quick report backs, general strategy updates etc.

I’ll be setting up a cron job to auto e-mail out a reminder every Sunday
morning with the call details.

If you would like to create a reminder in your calendar, here are all
the details:

When? Sundays at 7:30PM CST to 8:00PM CST
Where? dial in: 559-546-1000 with access code: 431041#

Thanks all.

Network Commons License v0.3 – please give us feedback!


It is my great pleasure to take the wraps off of the NCL v0.3.

This is the latest and greatest refinement of the license which we hope
will govern free networks. This is the plain English version that FNF
would like to get to lawyers on 10/30 for starting the process of
turning into a license. Please comment here with any and all feedback
and distribute as widely as possible for exposure and commentary.

Thank you.

Please find it online here:

To comment on the NCL, please join our discussion mailing list:

FNF is now a 501(c)(3)!

We’re pleased to announce that we recently received a determination letter from the IRS, designating the Free Network Foundation as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization. We’re beyond excited about the new possibilities this opens for us to teach more people how to build free networks. More announcements to follow soon.

2014 Q1 in Review


Winter Summit 2014

In March, the FNF held its 2014 Winter Summit in Austin, TX. We were joined in Austin by operators and activists from Sudo Room in Oakland, WLAN Slovenia, and Los Angeles, and by more friends around the world via telepresence. The Summit focused on refining key documents of the free network movement, specifically the Free Network Definition [LINK] and the Network Commons License [LINK]. It was exhilarating to meet with so many who share our vision and passion, and are already realizing the free network movement in their own communities.

Juniper Gardens

We helped our KCFN partner upgrade their network at Juniper Gardens in late March. The network at Juniper Gardens now connects back to Oak Tower in KCMO, freeing the last remaining part of the KCFN from dependence on incumbent ISPs. Upgrading the network also provided hands-on building experience for Clint and our volunteers. Simultaneous to building the new link, Connecting for Good opened a community tech center across the street from Juniper Gardens, the largest housing project in Kansas, where we hope to hold Hacker Dojo classes in the coming months.


Charles came to Kansas City for a brief hacking sprint this quarter, primarily focused on building AutoTunnel. AutoTunnel is the software solution, still in development, that will provide authentication, encryption, and security services for free networks.


In late March, Isaac attended the LibrePlanet 2014 conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts. LibrePlanet is a meetup of members of the free software community from around the world. While their, Isaac had a chance to meet with free software pioneers including Eben Moglen and FNF Advisory Board member Richard Stallman, with the goal of encouraging their participation in the Free network Definition and the Network Commons License. In February, Isaac presented about free networks at 89plus, a conference for young artists and innovators that was held in Mexico City.

Expanding the KCFN

This quarter, the FNF has participated in the KCFN’s meetings with the Urban Neighborhood Initiative (UNI), a Kansas City group that represents a number of neighborhood associations. UNI seeks to build networks to serve the communities they represent, on the Eastside of KCMO, and the FNF and KCFN are currently helping them to design a pilot program.

Upwards, Onwards, Always

A general update:

There’s been a lot afoot here in KC. I don’t remember exactly where we were when
I last updated, but I’ll just go from where I think it makes sense. About a week
ago, we had all the phase one infrastructure built and powered on. Started to
notice a problem with the rocket+dish rig that goes from posada to the link. At
first we thought it was related to thermals — tried removing some RF shielding
that we thought might have been the issues, but periodic power cycling
continued. Last Friday, Rashonda, James, Tyrone, Clint and myself reran all
non-uv rated ethernet cables at Posada with Carrier Grade cable. Power cycling
went away. :-) Probably wasn’t getting the voltage that it needed over a
degraded 120m run.

Last Thursday, had the first of what I hope will be many, many KC Freenet
governance meetings. In attendance were 2 people each from Reconciliation
Services, MMF, FNF, and Connecting for Good. I thought the meeting went
swimmingly, and the coalition really seems to be coming together, starting to
lean on each other, etc… Can’t wait to see what the next meetings bring.

Following the gov meeting, I talked with Michael and Rick about moving on an
engineering study for the school district. They had been contemplating using
some of the funds to bring in expert help, and I suggested Pau and Roger from Michael and Rick approved, and I had a 30-minute chat with Pau and
Roger this morning. If all goes according to plan, they will be here in a few
weeks time. :-) :-) :-)

Personally, I found new lodging, renting a room in a friend of a friend’s house.
I like the neighborhood, and the price is right, and I’m glad to have something
figured out, so that I can stop worrying about it :-) It really is nice to have
a room of one’s own (though I can already see how a home of one’s own would be a
world apart).

On Sunday, I had an excellent call with Jefferson Hack, who is the Director of
the Dazed Group, and alternative media conglomerate out of London. Jefferson saw
the interview that ran in Dazed and Confused’s May Issue (it’s their flagship
magazine), and wanted to speak. He offered to aide the cause in any way that I
can, and judging by who he is and what he brings to the table, that’s no small
offer. It will take some time to flesh out how we can best work together, but I
have confidence that he will be a major asset to the movement.

Not %100 sure yet, but travel funding for the International Summit is looking
pretty good. They said they’re going to start notifying folks in the next couple
of weeks, so I’ll know soon.

Anita is planning a press conference for the 27th to unveil the Vine Street
Network, and I’m thinking that we’re going to be in a really good place by then.

Lots of hurdles cleared. Now that the storage array is back to full capacity,
I’m feeling much better about where we’re at. Need to rebuild mail (oldest item
in my todo). Other than that, I think it’s high time that I spend a few days
calling supporters, asking if they will help us meet our overhead. Lots of
monthly contributors have trailed off over the last six months, and we haven’t
done nearly a good enough job bugging them to stay current. Our monthly cashflow
is seriously negative at this point, so I think this is a high priority.
Donations are finally working, integrated with civi. Go time on the drive.

I’m sure there are things that I’m missing (that’s why I should update more
frequently). Need to get up to speed with Anita on Low Power FM stuff. Need to
start thinking about Lincoln Prep build. Will probably transition to routed
network when Pau and Roger are here.

As I said,
onwards, upwards, always,


2013 Q1 Review

FNF and Connecting for Good Expand Free Network in KCMO
This quarter, we continued our work with non-profit Connecting for Good to bring Internet connectivity to more people in Kansas City. In late March and early April, we provided systems and systems know-how for a network network expansion at Posada del Sol, a subsidized apartment building for seniors in KCMO. The Posada site connects more than sixty housing units, the surrounding neighborhood, and serves as a relay to the 200 units we and Connecting for Good brought online at Rosedale Ridge last year. Posada del Sol is well situated to become a distribution center for connectivity on Kansas City’s west side.

Steady Progress on Technical Objectives
CTO Charles Wyble recently has continued his work on the FNF’s radio testbed and has begun benchmarking, experimenting, and integrating systems for our 1.0 FreedomStack release on July 4. James Yox, our CIO, has been penetration-testing our computer systems to ensure greater reliability and security. We began the quarter by completely rearchitecting our enterprise storage solution, and system performance is at an all-time high.

isaacsxsw Demoed at SXSW
Isaac presented on the FNF and at SXSW Interactive in Austin, TX, on March 9th. Also presenting on the panel “And What of Liberty? Networks and Freedom,” were Dan Phiffer of and Harlo Holmes of the Guardian Project. Isaac spoke about network freedom and, and demonstrated an early build of our network-planning tool., our project to bring free networks like’s to the US. is a web platform enabling communities to plan, provision, and fund their own cooperative ISPs. will include mapping and RF planning features, community support for selected hardware platforms, tools to determine how best to backhaul networks, and a crowdfunding tool for communities to raise funds for network building. The objective of this project is to catalyze community wireless projects by providing decision support and organizing tools. The FNF is working in collaboration with Spanish networking group, which has built a user-run cooperative network of over 20,000 nodes in Catalonia and Valencia, in an effort to bring their model to the US.

New FNF Website Launches
This quarter, we performed a complete overhaul of our public web properties, designing a custom WordPress theme in order to make it easier to find information, and establishing a uniform user experience across all of our sites. Please check the new site out at and let us know how we can make it even better.

Press Clippings
The FNF has been featured by several media outlets this quarter. Gordon Cook, who since 1992 has edited and published the longest running technology policy newsletter on the Internet, wrote on the FNF as well as in the March/April 2013 issue of the ”COOK Report on Internet Protocol”, “DIY Commons Infrastructure in the US.” ”Harper’s Magazine” and Kansas City writer Whitney Terrell also took notice of our work, in an article entitled “Network Free K.C.” And Isaac Wilder was interviewed by Elise Gallant for the Spring/Summer 2013 issue of ”Purple Magazine”. More about the FNF in the press can be found here.


Winter Summit 2013
The FNF held our biannual summit for winter 2013 in Austin, TX, during late January. We discussed the FNF’s operating procedures and plans for 2013, worked on our technical systems, strategized our upcoming efforts in publicity and fundraising, and talked about how to launch a community network on the model. Attending the Summit was our core team: Charles Wyble, Isaac Wilder, Tyrone Greenfield, and James Yox; artist/activist Sean McIntyre and journalist Whitney Terrell.

Board of Directors Meets
The Board of Directors decided this January to begin meeting monthly rather than twice per year, and so far in 2013 they’ve held two Board meetings, in late January and in early March. The Board strategized on how to build and integrate it with and with FNF’s mission. They also discussed how the Board can exercise more effective oversight of the FNF, and how to move toward making the Board more democratic by having dues-paying members elect new directors.


FNF Moves into New Office
In January, the FNF moved into our first office, in the West Bottoms neighborhood of Kansas City, MO. We are very excited to have a dedicated space where we can plan, work and build. Additionally, the core team made significant efforts to improve their own workstations for better productivity and flow.

Financial Report
This quarter, the FNF took in $1411.50 in revenue, and spent $4037.08, ending with $2831.43 cash in hand. All of the income came from individual donations, while the greatest portions of expenses went towards electronic equipment, colocation/hosting/backhaul costs, and travel, in that order. A more detailed report can be found on the Commons.


Join the FNF
The FNF relies on individual donors like you to keep bringing people online and developing tools to truly make the Internet a commons for all of humanity. You can help us bring about our vision of a world where networks are owned and run by all. Please consider signing up today as a monthly donor, or give a one-time contribution, on our website.

Board of Directors Meeting Report


Isaac presented at SXSW last Saturday, speaking about the FNF and previewing the pre-alpha build of We haven’t been able to find any recordings of the panel yet, but shall update this post if we can locate one.

While four members of the Board of Directors were in Austin, we held a meeting, following our decision at the 2013 Winter Summit to meet monthly rather than bi-annually. The board came to a decision at the meeting to increase participation in the FNF by allowing all dues-paying members to vote for Directors. We’re still working out the details on how this will operate, but expect an announcement soon, here and on our mailing lists. We’re very excited to extend the governenace of the FNF to all our supporters.

The full minutes from the meeting can be found on the wiki.

[image from @geoffreyfowler]

FNF Featured in the COOK Report on Internet Protocol

We’re excited to announce that the FNF was extensively featured in the March/April 2013 issue of the COOK Report on Internet Protocol. Following many conversations with Executive Director Isaac Wilder, Gordon Cook has published a long-form piece on our work as well as that of our friends at in Catalonia.

Part I of the Report

Part II of the Report

Gordon Cook is a technologist who has edited and published the COOK Report, the longest running technology policy newsletter on the Internet, since 1992. He also runs the [Arch-econ] mailing list on the economics and architechture of IP networks.

Isaac Wilder to Present at SXSW Interactive This Saturday

This Saturday, March 9th, at 11:00 AM, Isaac will be presenting at SXSW Interactive in Austin, TX, on a panel entitled And What of Liberty? Networks & Freedom. Isaac will speak on the importance of network sovereignty, as well as exciting new developments for the FNF. He will be joining Dan Phiffer of and Harlo Holmes of the Guardian Project. Please join us at the Austin Convention Center, Room 9ABC, 500 E Cesar Chavez St.