Shared Community WiFi Networking Blog From A Toronto Co-op ISP

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wireless Nomad Shutting Down

Well, everyone: after a very long few months with little communication between members and a growing waiting list, there's some good news and some bad news.

First, the bad news. Wireless Nomad ISP Co-op is closing its (virtual) doors over the next few weeks. It's been fun and interesting and we've met so many great people, and it's hard to let it go. But for a lot of reasons it's time for the project to end, at least in its current incarnation. We really expect someone somewhere to build on the ideas and experiences of community WiFi groups over the last four years and find a model that really works and turn it into something as sustainable as it is special. Meanwhile, free WiFi is all over the place -even Starbucks!-, and 3G devices like the iPhone are making the wireless web a reality.

Second, the good news. We've made arrangements so that all Wireless Nomad members have the choice to transition to a private DSL internet service provider called TekSavvy- in fact, the best private ISP in the country and the company Wireless Nomad has been leasing service from. TekSavvy has good internet service, great tech support, and has been a leader in the fight for net neutrality in Canada. And while it is a private company, they've really gone out of their way to help the Wireless Nomad project in Toronto the and National Capital Freenet in Ottawa serve our communities in new ways. Which goes to show that a well-run private for-profit company can be a good neighbour, both in the real world and in cyberspace.

Wireless Nomad was started with great expectations, and many of them were fulfilled. Along with dozens of other community WiFi groups, we did our bit to help put an end to the ridiculously over-priced WiFi model common in 2003 by providing a useful alternative; we shared our internet connections with thousands of our neighbours for more than four years; and we added our voice to the fight for net neutrality and sensible telecom regulation.

Of course, we all hoped to make Wireless Nomad more than it eventually became, but big dreams are hard to make real. We could talk about all the challenges we faced and all those we overcame, but that can wait- we'll keep the blog going and do a post-mortem over the next few months, when Steve's not in China and I'm not in the Philippines.

For now, let's keep everyone on-line and switched over to TekSavvy unless they opt out, and clean up the remnants of Wireless Nomad with a final meeting in a month or so.

Meanwhile, TekSavvy will be getting in touch to update their billing and subscriber info to complete the account migration and keep things running. They are really great people, and are really helpful. If you need to reach them, the TekSavvy website is http://www.teksavvy.com/, and their toll-free contract number is 1-877-779-1575.

So folks: so long, and thanks for all the internets. It's been a real pleasure.

-The Wireless Nomad Team

40 Comments:

Blogger DBR said...

Thanks for the service and the spirit.

11:55 PM, May 06, 2009

 
Blogger Ryan said...

Don't forget about about your promise to do the post-mortem!! I'm just discovering the coop now and think it is magnificient.

If you are serious about your hopes that someone will build upon Nomad's ideas and experience and find a model that really works, I hope you will give us a huge pile documents reflecting on the pursuit.

Tell us your lessons learned... ALL of them!!! From start to finish, what works and what doesn't? What documents, or contacts, or contracts, or software selections, or organizational structures did you setup the hard way which you can release to help future experiments along?

reflect, reflect, reflect!
make available all the documents you can for the benefit of all internets and other social entrepreneurs!

thanks, good luck, all the best!

8:26 PM, May 16, 2009

 
Blogger Damien said...

Ryan... haven't forgotten to lay it all on the table, just been distracted with a million other things! In some ways, we're all kind of tired of WiFi for now, and it's been good to be able to clear our heads and think things over.

Now that the let-down of the WN project ending is fading a bit, I think it's almost time to put some of those things you mentioned online so others can learn from our experiences.

4:18 PM, June 18, 2009

 
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