The first community wireless mesh network was launched in Thai Samaki village in Mae-Sot, Tak, Thailand initiated in 2013. The main motivations of the project were to have emergency networks ready when a disaster strikes and to orient people on how to use the emergency networks. The features of the mobile routers of that time were very low-cost with Wi-Fi 802.11n 2.4GHz Max150Mbps, 16 GB USB flash storage, and can be used for community applications and video files. It had low-powered, having an Optional battery for 4 to 5 hours of operations with flashed with open WRT Linux firmware and configured with OLSR. It had a voice-over IP, video on demand, social networking in the community, wireless mesh network. The intERLab team with the cooperation of the Thai Network Information Center Foundation (THNICF) organized the camp “Internet Technology for Society”.The First 13 mobile routers with (E-VoD) system were deployed by the volunteers of THNG Camp at the village. Gradually, a cellular internet gateway (3G) was deployed on one of the CWMN mobile routers for remote monitoring purposes and villagers started to use shared internet over CWMN.
In the second phase, a rural school wireless mesh network with an educational video-on-demand system was deployed at Ban Mae Kued Luang School, Mae-Sot, Tak, Thailand in January 2014. The objectives of the project were to deploy cost-effective multimedia WMN in rural communities and schools for educational content distribution, to research and develop some enabling technologies, and to explore other beneficial uses of low-cost WMN in developing countries.
In that phase, the feature of service was the low-cost and locally available hardware running customizable embedded Linux with 802.11n 2.4GHz Wi-Fi services with a maximum link speed of 150Mbps. It had self-configuring, self-healing OLSR mesh networking and USB flash storage: 16GB or 32GB per router for content caching (video or ebook files). It was low powered consumption (max 5W) having the option of solar-powered in which the internal battery could be installed to operate without grid/solar electricity for 4+ hours. It was easy to use and maintain. Users could switch the routers off-and-on to resolve most problems. The main feature was that it had high-temperature tolerance (when the battery was reThe network has been extremely successful even attracting children from nearby villages to pop into the village town hall (where the WiFi network is open to all) to do their school homework and play online games moved).
The intERLab team deployed in January 2014 and the educational VoD service was introduced to the teachers and students in this school. The network has been extremely successful even attracting children from nearby villages to pop into the village town hall (where the WiFi network is open to all) to do their school homework and play online games. Thereafter as mentioned in the below table, Net2Home has been scaled, and now more than 35 community networks and 400 routers have been deployed with more than 1700 active users using the network on a daily basis. The deployments have been spanned out in two provinces in Tak and Suphanburi. The project has aimed to expand in other areas both rural or city.
|SN||Community Network Sites||Locations||SN||Community |
|1||Ban Mai||Mae Tan, Thasongyang, Tak||19||NH19 – Ban Mae Kasa||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, |
|2||NH2 – Ban Mae Kud Luang||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak||20||NH20 – Ban Kokko||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak|
|3||NH3 – Ban Mae Kasanusorn||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak||21||NH21 – Ban Mae Kud Mai||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak|
|4||NH4 – Ban Pho Thong||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak||22||NH22 – Ban Pho Thong||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak|
|5||NH5 – Ban Thai Samakkhi||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak||23||NH23 – Ban Nam Dib||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak|
|6||NH6 – Ban Mae Kudmai Donsawang||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak||24||NH24 – Ban Nam Dib||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak|
|7||NH7 – Ban Pho Nguen||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak||25||NH25 – Ban Mai Rim Moei||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak|
|8||NH8 – Ban Mai Phathana||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak||26||NH26 – Ban Pho Thong||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak|
|9||NH9 – Ban Thai Samakkhi||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak||27||NH27 – Ban Nam Dib||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak|
|10||NH10 – Ban Mai Phathana||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak||28||NH28 – Ban Pho Thong||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak|
|11||NH11 – Ban Mae Kasa||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak||29||NH29 – Ban Mae Kudmai Donsawang||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak|
|12||NH12 – Ban Mae Kasa||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak||30||NH30 – Ban Mae Kudmai Donsawang||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak|
|13||NH13 – Ban Mai Rim Moei||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak||31||SBI01 – Ban Watbot||Makham Lom, Bangplama, Suphunburi|
|14||NH14 – Ban Mae Kasa||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak||32||SBI02 – Ban Watbot||Makham Lom, Bangplama, Suphunburi|
|15||NH15 – Ban Mai Rim Moei||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak||33||SBI03 – Ban Watbot||Makham Lom, Bangplama, Suphunburi|
|16||NH16- Ban Pho Thong||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak||34||SBI04 – Ban Phi Deiw||Watbot, Bangplama, Suphunburi|
|17||NH17- Ban Mai Phathana||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak||35||SBI05 – Ban Phi Deiw||Watbot, Bangplama, Suphunburi|
|18||NH18 – Ban Mae Kasa||Mae Kasa, Mae Sot, Tak|
The key success factor of our project is its strong collaboration between three main players: the research and development team of intERLab, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) program of THNICF, and the local community’s participation. Net2Home is functioning as a research testbed for other research projects, such as HAZEMON an Internet of Things (IoTs) platform for real-time air quality monitoring, BaengPun, a digital ledger service for local trading, etc. The experience of this project shows that the key to success is to have simple technology where we can transfer the operation to local technicians who usually are without proper vocational education and have trouble reading English instructions. Involving local technicians and having them gradually take over running the network is our key strength.
The communities are earning more income from installation fees and commissions if they get more members and from their mobilization. The intERLab team and the THNG Camp members trained the villagers in how to use our network and they are working as village volunteers to act as the local technical support team. To support the fast growth of the network, the Net2home social enterprise was established in 2016 to fully manage the services and network operation. And after changing its management as of Net2Home, the number of deployments increased from one to five communities per year. Finally, the project has impacted in improving agriculture yields, creating cleaner and greener manufacturing systems, and providing tighter socioeconomic integration of rural communities can serve as some important goals and milestones through the faster digital transformation. The project has a belief that technological innovations come through research, observation, participation, and collaboration, and activities and funding in relevant research areas should be made available and managed effectively.
This community Network has complied with all the regulations of the Thai government, even though there is no specific policy in favor of running community networks in Thailand. However local regulations are needed to consider its provisions, scope, and limitations. However, the project’s priority is to abide by existing rules and regulations in our network design and operation, limiting ourselves to the permissible technology choices and it has been currently operating with an internet service provider (ISP) license that has been issued to our Net2Home social enterprise company.