I own and operate a number of small businesses in the coastal town of Struisbaai / Cape Agulhas at the southern tip of Africa and it has come to my attention that there is a need for a community network, but it needs to be something more than just a WUG.
I am now stuck in the idea of setting up a hybrid network ... a WUG that offers internet access / a WISP that is non-profit. Looking to do this under the banner of the local chamber of commerce. The local business community is small enough that one could actually get everyone to work together for the greater good.
Area is not that big and the total footprint of the 1st fase should only be a few square kilometers.
Tentative discussions with WAPA have indicated that no license is required if the entity is a registered NPO. I am thinking that if most of the local businesses move onto the network then it should be able to fund itself and provide limited free internet access to tourists / visitors to the town.
There is one high site that would give me access to the whole area but it is unlikely that Telkom / Vodacom will give me access to this tower. (I will look for a loophole.)
The alternative is to do it as a WiFi mesh network with short hops between individual business, with each hosting a hotspot for customers.
Things I would like to use the network for:
-Host some cameras that will help with tourism and community policing. Live feed to Windfinder.com for the kitesurfers and boating fraternity. IR capable cameras to keep infrastructure like the boardwalk safe.
-Hotspots hosted by local businesses.
-Affordable shared internet access for local businesses
-Gaming server for local and visiting youth
-Community information network, possibly broadcasting to multiple locations during festivals etc.
-Internet access for the local frail care centre. Skype calls to family, FB and streaming of community meetings and events.
Would appreciate any feedback, opinions and ideas you might have as I view MyBB as the brains trust for the SA geek community.