In addition to technical solutions, there are social and policy initiatives that would aid adoption of mesh:
- Encouraging mobile operating system developers and hardware manufacturers to allow flexible access to ad hoc wireless APIs on mobile devices. At present this requires root access and thus voids the device’s warranty. Application developers may be best positioned to make this case.
- Alternately, or in addition, the FCC could require more limited ad hoc mesh capabilities on new smart phones for use in emergencies. This could complement the agency’s work on the PLAN Emergency Notification system.
- Advocating, as the Wireless Innovation Alliance does, for more efficient spectrum allocation. So-called “Innovation Bands” could dramatically increase the potential for building high-capacity mesh networks. For more in-depth information, see the Reading section of our site.
- Encouraging average users to establish mesh networks. The success of community wireless in Europe shows that large scale networks are feasible, at least in an urban area, with low investment.