Just getting started.

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The goal is a network that delivers internet access but in an encrypted, decentralized, sustainable, and redundant manner. To make ISPs, VPNs, net neutrality, censorship, and the selling of and spying on user data a thing-of-the-past. A resilient network. A better internet.

I know quite a few people interested in mesh networks or highly interested in having a communications network that is resilient. Resilient communications benefits everyone. My personal interest in mesh networking started with an article about NYCmesh. It wasn’t difficult to see the potential. Over the next few months I would dedicate myself to learning so I could analyze all the projects and find the best way to bring better internet into reality. I traveled (to Battlemesh), met people in person and online, and read all I could. I concluded that it is possible to create a resilient mesh network but to be fast it must be intentional, and to have impact it must be sustainable; the solution to both is to make it incentivized. Thankfully others figured that out before me.

From that research I found a way forward. A project called Althea. Months ago I decided to bring Althea to New Hampshire but I didn’t know how. Now I know.

It is with great pleasure that I announce The Block Network.

The Block Network is here to ensure the internet gets better. The goal is a network that delivers internet access in an encrypted, decentralized, automatic, and redundant manner. A resilient network. We performed extensive research into how to accomplish that. There are a lot of exciting projects going on in networking and in mesh networking in particular – but Althea stood out as both revolutionary and very doable.

What The Block Network is Offering

We are offering to build the better internet; to work with you and for you so that you can benefit from Althea.

We are working with early operators to ensure an initial network gets started in Manchester. At the same time, we’ll be reaching out to potential customers and hooking them into the network. That’s just the start.

We are looking for building owners, entrepreneurs, and of course, customers. We are offering to analyze your situation and let you know A) what your options are to connect to the existing network B) what your opportunities are to expand the network and make money. C) if new options or opportunities arise. We’ll provide you with a detailed proposal; we’ll list equipment and installation costs, with options to include service agreements, as well as our analysis of potential revenue from operating the network. If it doesn’t look like a good fit at the moment, we’ll still take your information and alert you when it makes sense to get you hooked up.

We are asking you to head over to the sign up form and give us some information about you, your location, and what interests you about bringing better internet to New Hampshire.

More on Althea

Althea is a really good way to make the internet better. It accomplishes all the goals and is a resilient network. One reason we went with Althea is that they chose to build off existing open source projects. Let me explain.

They chose OpenWRT as the basis. An open, mature, and small distribution of linux for embedded devices. They went with existing mesh routing protocol babeld and extended it to account for price and added a handy mechanism to verify quality. The devices create WireGuard encrypted tunnels over the mesh network. The end user selects an exit node and creates a second encrypted tunnel to it. This exit node is trusted to verify quality and not to look at or store your encrypted data or metadata. The devices then select the best value connection. The local network keeps a ledger. A crypto-currency (Eth or xDai currently) is used to automatically settle those payments.

They aren’t done yet either. They are introducing novel ways to charge for service and govern decentralized operators. The pricing algorithm can be swapped out. Althea also isn’t built around a single blockchain. Its using Ethereum (via Aragon) for governance features and also as a payment method (in addition to xDai) but they are laying groundwork that can translate to any blockchain. Payment methods, blockchains, protocols, can all be switched out, in theory.

In a lot of ways Althea is just getting started, but its already smarter, more open, and further along in development than anything similar that’s been dreamed up.

Althea is a revolution.