Mesh networking is a type of computer network topology in which each node has a connection with every other node in the local network. Mesh networks are dynamic and non-hierarchical, making them highly fault-tolerant due to a lack of reliance on any single node.
Mesh networks, especially wireless mesh networks (WMNs), have many applications in modern telecommunications infrastructure.
One increasingly common application is public WiFi hotspots in high traffic areas such as city centers and public transportation hubs of major municipalities, or large university campuses. WMNs are ideally suited for this type of application because it's simple and inexpensive to link hotspots together to provide wide-ranging coverage. The same idea can be used to enable internet access in remote locations and underdeveloped regions where wired (i.e cable) infrastructure doesn't exist.
Although mesh networks are relatively easy and affordable to set up, there is still a non-negligible cost involved. Several projects are working on using blockchains on top of mesh networks to establish economic incentives for operating one or more nodes in a mesh network. In theory, economic incentives should lead to more rapid development and expansion of mesh networks, meaning that more people will have reliable internet access sooner than they otherwise would if relying on altruistic or government-funded mesh network operators.
Some of the blockchain projects involving mesh networking include:
- RightMesh - ad hoc mobile mesh networking platform and protocol focusing on providing infrastructure to bring people in unconnected developing countries online.
- SmartMesh - protocol for the Internet of Things with built-in blockchain light nodes that extend second layer protocols such as the Lightning Network and Raiden in order to support internet-free digital transactions for cryptocurrencies.
- Ammbr - decentralized autonomous marketplace for exchanging internet bandwidth.
- Blockmesh - company developing a cost-free, mesh-based communications app that pays its users to use it.
How the U.S. military helped develop mobile mesh networking
July 30, 2020
Towards Blockchain-enabled Wireless Mesh Networks
Aniruddh Rao, Anwaar Ali, Leandro Navarro, Mennan Selimi, Arjuna Sathiaseelan
Documentaries, videos and podcasts
How Mesh Networks Work
December 4th, 2012
- RightMeshRightMesh is a software based, ad hoc mobile mesh networking platform and protocol.
- BlockmeshBlockMesh is a company using mesh networking technology to create communication networks.
- AmmbrAmmbr is a decentralized blockchain-based wireless mesh telecommunications network that autonomously buys and sells internet bandwidth.
- HyperledgerHyperledger is an open source effort by the Linux Foundation to create blockchain related tools and standards.
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