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[Freedombox-discuss] Network effect

A further comment on leveraging the network effect is to <broken
record mode>collaborate with various related projects to create a much
larger combined community earlier than any of us can do alone</broken
record mode>.

My suggestion is to pick something that people have to pay for today,
that we can offer for free tomorrow.

To me the obvious choice is telephony: VoIP is already fairly well
proven, and people hate phone bills.

The challenge is to make it "grand-mother proof", and more than that,
actually attractive to a grand-mother.

This means you have to be able to use existing phone numbers, and just
have it work.
(This introduces some authentication issues, which I can talk about
separately, and also some tragedy of the commons issues, which I can
also talk about, i.e., how to create incentives for people to keep
their device on and contributing to the mesh).

The number management has to be completely distributed as well, and
there has to be support for using the internet to limit the local mesh
size to deal with scalability.

This is exactly what ServalProject.org is doing, and is already
partnering with VillageTelco.org and GNU Free Call to achieve.

We even have working prototype software for selected models of Android
phone with Serval Disributed Numbering Architecture (Serval DNA).

FB is more than welcome to use our work which is all GPL.

I realise that FB is consolidating around the idea of using only
existing Debian packages, and that might be a show stopper, but I
think that there is tremendous value for FB and for the open source
community as a whole if we can achieve a widely distributed
alternative phone network that is not dependent on carrier cooperation
or governmental blessing (as compared to enum).

I'll go crawl back into my box now.


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