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Ask Slashdot: Could We Reconnect Eastern Libya?

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the who-is-this-we-paleface? dept.

Censorship 290

GrumpyBagpuss writes "We all know that the internet is supposed to route around damage, but currently eastern Libya is off the net because all their connectivity goes through Tripoli. How difficult would it to be to reconnect eastern Libya via a microwave link to Crete? It's less than 200km away, on the Libyan end there are mountains up to 850m and on Crete they're higher than 2000m. People have achieved distances of over 300km with simple WiFi equipment, but would it be possible to increase the bandwidth to handle a whole, or at least half a country? How would you connect the link at both ends? What other problems would there be? How many Pringles cans would we need?"

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290 comments

Beyond my tech skills... (3, Interesting)

gvanbelle (1400327) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392546)

... but I'd gladly give money for any effort in this direction.

Re:Beyond my tech skills... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392638)

1. Take down entire country's internet connection.
2. ???
3. Profit

Re:Beyond my tech skills... (1)

monkyyy (1901940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393636)

1. let a corrupt government take down a small part of the internet
2. cheer on the reform
3. support/suggest/form a charity project to make the internet faster, stronger, and info safer
4.enjoy the better internet
5.??????
6.profit

Re:Beyond my tech skills... (-1, Flamebait)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392748)

I could give a shit too. Wait, no, actually I can't. Why are we talking about Eastern fucking Libya on Slashdot again? Are they about to stop sucking as hard as all those other beardy/shouty fuckwit run countries and do something vaguely nice/interesting/artistic/technical/humanitarian?

Please Don't compare Libya to Alabama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392768)

You get what I'm saying? (i'm saying despite the fact that one has asps and the other has cottonmouths, your description of the people of Libya applies to Alabama too.)

Re:Please Don't compare Libya to Alabama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392946)

So in conclusion you're stating that Libya is the Alabama of the 'Middle East'.

I wonder which would be more dangerous to make that analogy in, Alabama or Libya?

Re:Please Don't compare Libya to Alabama (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392986)

Alabama, the locals have more guns.

Re:Beyond my tech skills... (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393216)

So ungrateful! Where do you think Libbys vegetables are from?
Very dear to many Slashdot members are JAVA and chocolate. Guess what comes from The Republic of CÃte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) which isn't too far from Libya?

If you're grumpy because you don't have a job or something, lighten up. There could be a future for you in biofuel. So just sit back and watch Soylent Green or something and relax.

Re:Beyond my tech skills... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393434)

" Guess what comes from The Republic of CÃfte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) which isn't too far from Libya?"

Well, Tripoli is from Yamoussoukro just as near as Miami to Las Vegas.

Re:Beyond my tech skills... (2, Funny)

johncadengo (940343) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392820)

Yes, please. Someone set up an effort, and a site, and some transparency/accountability, and let's do it!

Re:Beyond my tech skills... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392904)

Would it help to buy some Libbys "ruling party" flavor cat food?

Re:Beyond my tech skills... (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393534)

Frankly I don't see why it should cost hardly anything. I mean they have phone lines yes? They didn't take a backhoe to the trunk did they?

While people here may be spoiled to having high speed (well if you consider an average 2Mbps high speed) many of us Greybeards spent many a year using dialup to gather and share information.

So all you really need is some western ISPs to offer a few dialup numbers that are free for them to call and have someone spread the word. Considering that last I heard it was something like only 6% of the whole country that even HAD Internet access to start with it isn't like offering them free dialup is gonna suck some major bandwidth here, and would certainly be a lot more doable than climbing a mountain in Crete with a big ass dish with a cantenna in the middle.

Maybe this is the chance for some Netzero style ISP to get a hell of a lot of free publicity and goodwill? Seems to me like it would be a hell of a public relations coup even if only a few there took advantage of it. After all all it takes is a single person spreading information to make this Internet block pointless, and nearly every retail box has for years come with some sort of modem (hell my local Walmart just stopped having modems installed in their retail boxes like two years ago) so it really wouldn't take much.

P2P (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392550)

Just remember to set up enough bandwidth, P2P users always hog the lines...

Re:P2P (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392584)

Surely you can prioritize bandwidth for something like this. The situation sounds to me like the emergency protocols of amateur radio apply.

What other problems would there be? (1)

occamsarmyknife (673159) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392552)

A war?

Re:What other problems would there be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393016)

Sucks when there's a typo in your sig, doesn't it?

Re:What other problems would there be? (2)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393024)

A war?

Yes, and the last thing freedom fighters need is rampant internet porn distracting them from their work.

"You difficult to fire an M60E with one hand son..."

Re:What other problems would there be? (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393262)

That's true.. but I have known some people rumored to be so good they can switch hands and gain a stroke.

I bet they would not be slowed down that much in a firefight.

Is it worth it? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392558)

While the Internet played a huge role in relatively developed Egypt, it might be worth pointing out that less than 7% of Libya's population has Internet access, and most of those people are in Tripoli.

While there are surely isolated pockets of connectivity in the Western parts of the country, the usage is minimal and may not actually have a great impact on this revolution.

Just a thought....

Re:Is it worth it? (2, Insightful)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392678)

There's usually a lot of noise and very little signal at interconnects. However, signal propagates to peers while noise does not. Without carrier, there is neither signal nor noise.

Re:Is it worth it? (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392786)

Great! Send them all Dialup modems, plus the phone number to that French BBS giving-away free access.

(And don't say it's too slow - I download books, music, and videos over my dialup.)

Re:Is it worth it? (3, Interesting)

Redlazer (786403) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392962)

You might be right, but even one internet connection in the hands of a rebel is a crucial outlet to the entire world, enabling the uploading of videos, pictures, and audio of the actions taking place there.

I think, if possible, a serious effort couldn't hurt, and would be an interesting test of our abilities to step in as people, where our governments for political reasons cannot.

Re:Is it worth it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393070)

It's completely irrelevant how much of these regions was connected in the past or how many people were using Twitter and that other website, the one that I blocked in my hosts file. They need the connectivity now. There will be some telephone cables at least. But how to get the equipment there? Is the border to Egypt still accessible? See, we don't know for sure because the communication lines are interrupted. Do you really think that doesn't matter?

Swords mightier than the pen ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393194)

Contrary to popular mythology, the pen is not mightier than the sword. Or more accurately the pen is only mightier when those with the swords are not sufficiently motivated to use them. That point was not reached in Egypt, but it has progressed past that point in Libya. They need swords not pens. Hence the govt's repeated attacks on arms depots.

Re:Is it worth it? (1)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393544)

> less than 7% of Libya's population has Internet access

That's the point, yo. When an area is information-poor, the value of each packet goes up, not down.

Slashdot is getting old in the teeth... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392562)

stop posting bullshit ask slashdot stories like this in cases where people don't even try to do their own research first.

Re:Slashdot is getting old in the teeth... (3, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392848)

  No shit.

    This isn't an Ask Slashdot solution. It's a "Ask the companies providing connectivity" solution. No, an individual isn't going to get a 300km wireless link up, unless they happen to have some friends with towers (preferably on mountains), and gear on both ends. Even then you aren't going to make a connection for everyone in the country (even at the low user per citizen number they have). What are they planning? To say "Hey [provider], I established a link. Route everything through my house." Ha.

From TFA:

possible to increase the bandwidth to handle a whole, or at least half a country? How would you connect the link at both ends? What other problems would there be? How many Pringles cans would we need?"

What's the bandwidth requirement for the whole country? What do the providers on each end have available? What do you mean how to connect both ends, don't you understand routing? Pringles cans, are you fucking kidding me?

With the numbers he gave (200km distance, 1st tower 850m, 2nd tower 2000m), line of sight could be 304km.

He didn't ask the magic questions. Just because you put something up on each mountain, doesn't mean that there's anything to connect to. Power? Fiber/Copper lines? Is there anything in the way? Does it take a wireless bridge on the two sides, and then another pair (or more) to get it to somewhere with service?

I doubt there's a provider anywhere who would let a hobbiest bridge their networks. Oh, did we forget bandwidth fees, port charges, roof rights, etc, etc, etc? Nah, it all must be free, because a hobbiest thinks it's a good idea to do.

Re:Slashdot is getting old in the teeth... (0, Offtopic)

RichM (754883) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393088)

It's completely infeasible.

Even a 1Gbit Ethernet link will degrade severely over these kinds of distances (remember even regular 100Mb Ethernet is not recommended for distances over 100 metres using regular Cat5 cable.
No idea how much by, but I'm betting the extreme temperature differences between day and night in a diurnal region like this could cause the internal copper to become damaged pretty quickly with tiny fractures leading to a break.

And besides, do you really think they'll have 200KM of Cat5 to lay to the border?
This isn't a country where many people can even afford computers.

I don't think I have a long enough cable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392574)

But let me check in the garage. I might have one in there.

Doesn't even matter (2)

cultiv8 (1660093) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392588)

That's a nice question that brings warm fuzzies to my stomach thinking of all the people in Libya we could liberate by giving them internet, unfortunately only 5.1% of the population [google.com] has internet.

Re:Doesn't even matter (1)

sheridan3003 (165213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392618)

Maybe so, but for those 5.1% getting information out of the country could help the other 94.9%

Re:Doesn't even matter (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392742)

Those people were almost all in Tripoli. There are a few thosuand people with access in the Western parts, frequently via WiMax connection, which is run by the state telecom.

Since that is shut down, beaming some sort of backbone at them doesn't do jack.....

Re:Doesn't even matter (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392932)

Why "getting information out of the country" is necessary? To call the foreign enemies so they can take over and install their puppets?

Re:Doesn't even matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393146)

There is a perfectly valid reason. It's awfully difficult for the incumbent to look good when he's bombing his own people. Supporting him is political suicide regardless of country if people know the truth. Also, it's easy for somebody to look good when an embargo means that they can do nothing and get political clout. At least providing internet would be *something* instead of just sitting back and watching the show.

Re:Doesn't even matter (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393642)

Translation: It's OK for us to conquest a country if it was ruled by people we don't like.

Re:Doesn't even matter (1)

spasm (79260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392682)

.. and that 5.1% probably had the resources to get out of the country when the shooting started.

PIrate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392612)

WiFi off-shore?!? This gives a new meaning to pirate radio!

Are the phones also cut over there?

High powered WiFi for down and telephone for up? 800 number for them to call to do page requests and then download via the mage off-shore WiFi - like the satellite ISPs do it.

Not sure this is the time to work on internet (4, Insightful)

daninaustin (985354) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392628)

It's turned into a civil war. It might be better shipping the rebels AK's, anti tank weapons, man portable SAMS and lots of ammunition. Sat phones would be nice for communications but I'm not sure twitter and facebook are really all that important anymore.

Re:Not sure this is the time to work on internet (5, Funny)

Zapotek (1032314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392694)

You know...the guys in Crete can help with that too... (This joke would kill in Greece)

Re:Not sure this is the time to work on internet (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392696)

Yeah, that worked really well for the Taliban, big supporters of western democracies and all around great guys!

Re:Not sure this is the time to work on internet (2)

daninaustin (985354) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392902)

Yes, it did get the Soviets out of their country. It wasn't a battle for democracy, it was a battle of liberation. The Afghans were (and still are) a bunch of illiterate, superstitions goat herders. Libya isn't exactly first world but it has a considerable number of educated people and it's fighting against a dictator.

Re:Not sure this is the time to work on internet (1, Insightful)

morcego (260031) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392698)

Yes, Im sure more weapons is the way to solve it. Specially in the hands of people not trained to handle them.

I mean, what could go wrong ?

Re:Not sure this is the time to work on internet (1)

daninaustin (985354) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392752)

right, it's better to let them die unarmed. What part of civil war don't you understand?

Re:Not sure this is the time to work on internet (4, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393430)

Ghandi took India back from the British without any weapons.

America supplying weapons into the worlds trouble spots has rarely produced a good result. Take your Texas solutions and stick them up your ass.

Re:Not sure this is the time to work on internet (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392910)

Actually, because of the mandatory enlistment in the military, most of the youth do know how to handle guns.

Re:Not sure this is the time to work on internet (3, Informative)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393228)

Do you really think an AK-47 is that hard to figure out? There's a reason that's the rifle of choice for conscript armies the world over.

Firing a weapon isn't brain surgery, it doesn't take years of practice to do it right. Just give them the gun, tell them where to point the end the bullets come out of and how to put more in, then let 'em go.

Re:Not sure this is the time to work on internet (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393524)

Right. Which is why cops get lots of psychological training to learn how to deal with the consequences of firing a gun.
And why do many people are shot by mistake. Or why gun safety (keeping guns away from children) is still far from idea.
Not to mention what would happen to those guns AFTER the civil war is over.
Or how about all the amazing consequences of the last couple times USA gave rebels guns.
You know what "arms race" is ? Expected consequence: escalation in violence.
But what am I saying. I'm pretty sure anyone who advocates "giving them more weapon" studied all the possible consequence, including medium and long term, of that. So forgive me to stating the obvious.

Re:Not sure this is the time to work on internet (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393554)

Infantry weapons are, honestly, not that hard to use. Hell, the M18 Claymore mine has a helpful "FRONT TOWARDS ENEMY" label telling you which way to point it. Even a Kalashnikov is simple - point it towards the bad guys, flip safety down one notch (to AB, C, or L, depending on where it was built), pull trigger until it stops making noise, drop magazine, insert new magazine, repeat until bad guys are dead, and flip safety back up when done. Now, proper maintenance and aiming is only marginally more complicated, but honestly, it's easier to use than some video games.

PS: Congratulations, all of us are now on a watchlist for having received "terrorist training".

Re:Not sure this is the time to work on internet (4, Insightful)

AffidavitDonda (1736752) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392760)

Starting with WWII every single war of the 20th/21th century was won with the help of computers and communication. Its not about propaganda, but to allow rebels to exchange important strategical information.

Re:Not sure this is the time to work on internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392800)

Vietnam?

More than that (1)

MikShapi (681808) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393040)

It's not just about letting forces communicate and/or let evidence of atrocities leak out.

It's about connecting these people with expectations from government. All that youtubing and facebooking and tweeting gets the word out about how governments of strong successful nations function.

It's the one big thing that *might* prevent these revolutions going down the same shithole most others, from Cuba to Iran to Lebanon to Libya 40 years ago - have gone. Straight into the hands of a just marginally different oppressive, violent and/or otherwise dysfunctional regime.

Continue letting people in there, even a marginal percentage of them, talk with the outside, communicate, let them know where the right paths and the wrong paths from where they are lead, allow them to sidestep the mistakes other emerging nations made and they might stand a chance. Send them weapons and they'll just end up with another four decades and two generations of backwards third world gunk that some irresponsible party instated with these weapons. Guns just don't solve everything.

As a sideinote, Iran is serving a positive purpose, in a grim kind of way:
http://www.despair.com/mis24x30prin.html [despair.com]

Re:Not sure this is the time to work on internet (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393514)

The Gaddafi-backed military has all the heavy duty military equipment and I'm quite sure they would have the ability to eavesdrop on the rebel communications. It is utter suicide if they exchange tactical information over unencrypted channels.

Re:Not sure this is the time to work on internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393096)

The real way to win any war is to simply fly over the country dropping satellite tv, money jeans, etc. People become complacent. That's what they really want anyways.
The iraq war cost about $40,000 or so per iraqi citizen. Think of how westernized the country would become if each family had $200 k dropped on them.
I'm serious here.

Out of touch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393178)

It's turned into a civil war. It might be better shipping the rebels AK's, anti tank weapons, man portable SAMS and lots of ammunition. Sat phones would be nice for communications but I'm not sure twitter and facebook are really all that important anymore.

Agreed. The more I read "Ask Slashdot" the more I realize how out of touch with reality some posters are. It's gone beyond "how do I do my job" to "OMG! I can't access facebook!!!!111!". Seriously, no one in Libya cares about facebook, or twitter or even BBC. They are rising up and fighting and dying for their rights and freedoms. This is something that western world is very keep to throw away for perception of security...

Re:Not sure this is the time to work on internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393196)

Yes, that worked *so* well in Afthanistan to help them get rid of the Russians.

Re:Not sure this is the time to work on internet (2)

JumperCable (673155) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393538)

It might be better shipping the rebels AK's, anti tank weapons, man portable SAMS and lots of ammunition. Sat phones would be nice for communications but I'm not sure twitter and facebook are really all that important anymore.

Would you really want to send them AK-47s? I know arms sounds pretty handy right now. But I kind of hope for something better. A big part of modern wars is winning people's hearts and minds. For that, they need fast communication. Yes. Twitter, facebook and other social media sources have their role here. Instead of a top down push of information and ideas for a government or media, ideas can spread better if done on a peer to peer basis.

Satellite perhaps? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392648)

Why bother with microwave links, cables, mountains, etc. when you can drop a few hundred satellite modems with wifi. I guess they have satellite dishes already, all they need are a modem and an omnidirectional antenna in each neighborhood.

Re:Satellite perhaps? (5, Insightful)

ogl_codemonkey (706920) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392734)

Yeah, +1 Ask The Right Question... A fixed microwave station on the side of a mountain is an obvious and easy target for anybody looking to suppress the flow of information. Satellite phones, like cell phones, typically function as modems as either a configurable menu option; or via Plug-n-Pray USB. Couple of hundred dollars plus the plan, and you can stash it in a book, rock, or body cavity. Seems a lot easier and less risky (in an "if-we-see-you-subverting-us-we'll-shoot-you" way) than whatever it is the OP is implying.

And Cell Towers Are.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393000)

Invincible? Perhaps a satellite phone might work, but those cell towers even come with ladders built in ;)

Re:Satellite perhaps? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393404)

I'd like to see you put one of these in a body cavity.

Goatse anyone?

http://www.comtechefdata.com/products/modems/pCDM-570.asp

Re:Satellite perhaps? (4, Informative)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393350)

Why bother with microwave links, cables, mountains, etc. when you can drop a few hundred satellite modems with wifi. I guess they have satellite dishes already, all they need are a modem and an omnidirectional antenna in each neighborhood.

BINGO

More importantly, modern VSAT equipment is moderately portable (e.g. in a small vehicle). You can break it down in about 10 minutes and set it up again in about 20. Perfect for the rebel/journalist/activist on the move. You can buy complete systems (dish, modem, switches, software etc.) for less than US$5000.00. Add a couple/three 12 dBi wifi panels and you can service a fairly large area, depending on your location. Power requirements are low enough that you could run most of it from the battery of the truck you're transporting it on.

(Yeah, I've looked into this stuff in the past while doing consulting work in the developing world....)

Uplink Station (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392672)

Ask the communication boys, like AlJazeera.
They KNOW how to move-in a (mobile) satellite uplink (+ downlink) station.
It's easy, really.

Technology isn't the problem. (1)

rdunnell (313839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392676)

You don't even need junked-together tin can wi-fi. Assuming there is something in the air to talk to, you could probably just set up a satellite uplink/downlink and not need to worry about distance or anything. The technology for this is readily available and has been deployed all around the world.

The problem is that the government would probably not like this and is also probably very likely to find it and "deal with it" in the same way that they deal with any other communications channel they don't approve of.

Why are stupid nerds always thinking... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392680)

...that internet connectivity will save the day?

Re:Why are stupid nerds always thinking... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392708)

Little known fact: Hitler was defeated by the internet in WW2.

Re:Why are stupid nerds always thinking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393362)

WTF, Al Gore was alive during the 40s?!

I sure hope so (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392688)

Those Libyans are missing out on a whole load of new Lolcat pictures

What problems could there be? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392702)

Besides electronic jamming and getting shot? Such a link would be an automatic target of the existing regime. Merely pointing their existing military radar arrays at the Libyan internal antennas should be quite sufficient to blanket any high bandwidth signals. And since DEC went out of business, it's hard to find hardware capable of surviving a direct artillery hit.

It can be done (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392706)

My company installed the longest microwave link at the time at 108km. This required 15' dishes and used ceragon radios. So you would need two or three hops and some fairly tall towers.

Re:It can be done (3, Insightful)

Yaur (1069446) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393376)

its a sad day when people no longer know why "multiple hops" between Libya and Crete might be a problem.

TSFI already deployed a team (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392758)

Télécoms sans Frontières already deployed a team to the libyan-tunesian border.
http://www.tsfi.org/en/action/emergencies/147-tsf-deploye-a-la-frontiere-tunisielibye
Consider donating some money: http://www.tsfi.org/en/action/donateonline

Re:TSFI already deployed a team (4, Interesting)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393280)

I thought this was quite interesting:

"TSF's founders realized that, in addition to medical and food aid, there was a critical need for reliable emergency telecommunications services. Conflicts and emergencies often led to massive civilian displacement and separated families. And affected populations are often left with no communications infrastructure in place to find assistance and loved ones."

Makes sense to me, I sent them EU50.

via Satelllite is fastest to set up connectivity (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392774)

In my opinion as of a long time network and internet engineer (+25 years). Satellite based Internet is fastest way if we just got them gear on ground.

http://www.satsig.net/ivsat-europe.htm

It's not that great for all use like voip or interactive shell use because of latency and jitter, but for file transfers uploading and downloading web browsing, email, twitter etc. it is OK.

End badly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392782)

Given that this is rapidly turning into a civil war by all accounts; installing a large microwave transmitter of any type will probably draw some unwanted attention from the Libyan military.
But heck if someone has the guts to go into Libya and set up that end I'm sure someone out there would be willing to donate the other end just for some good PR.

sure it can be done (3, Interesting)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392810)

why not portable cellphone and wifi telescopic antenna towers on trailers that are easily pulled by a pickup truck that can be set up within a few minutes, they can cross the border pull up to a mountaintop and be running in no time. and if they are cheap enough just set one up and abandon it to function until it gets blown up by the enemy, then deploy another one somewhere else, (no life lost) just a couple of thousand dollars in electronics and portable infrastructure for each, if they can be built cheap and disposable like that you can have fleets of them ready to deploy in hot war zones

Re:sure it can be done (1)

RichM (754883) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393002)

...just a couple of thousand dollars in electronics and portable infrastructure for each...

Yeah, I'm sure that a couple of thousand dollars will be no problem for the residents of war-torn Libya.

Re:sure it can be done (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393302)

i was referring to the UN or the USA or NATO, since they all love to blow huge sums of money on all sorts of things

Re:sure it can be done (1)

RichM (754883) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393390)

They wouldn't touch this with a bargepole until there is significant security in place. And by then, this story would be irrelevant.

Egypt (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392816)

Running a cable to Egypt and programming the routers to use it would suffice. Wifi doesn't have the range or bandwidth for the job. This assumes the power grid works- even if Ghaddafi isn't targeting the power it might go out due to fires or lack of gas.

Re:Egypt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393134)

Yes, because we all know how reliable the internet access is in Egypt! Sorry had to be said, hopefully its all sorted in Egypt and no more internet off switch.

suck my dick you fucking faggots (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392822)

see subject line.

subterranean across the Mediterranean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35392864)

A satellite connection would likely be easiest, but likely wouldn't give you all the bandwidth you want. It would be fastest to deploy, and covers great distances easily. A solution with all the bandwidth you want is to put an underground cable across the Mediterranean from Eastern Libya to either Malta or Greece (or Italy). It costs a bit to lay a subterranean cable, and also takes a bit of time, but it would give you all the bandwidth you want. Wifi like other radio communications is affected by whether (try to watch terrestrial over the air digital tv, or satellite tv or receive any microwave signal during a heavy snowstorm, oops, signal gone), but even with good weather over the Mediterranean, you need a kicking signal, well aligned signals, and a direct line-of-sight signal. Wifi like other UHF signals, is line of sight, much like ray optics. Low frequency communications will refract on the ionisphere, and travel around the world. UHF signals and higher punch right through the ionisphere. They do not refract or 'skip' on the ionisphere, and do not travel around the world. A 2200 foot tower can send a signal (given the current radius of the earth) about 55 miles. If the earth had a larger diameter, a signal could go farther, so good luck with that, although two 2200 foot high towers 110 miles apart might be able to signal to each other. So your choices are submarine cable (usually optical fiber) or satellite.

Not likely (1)

Sir_Dinky (1955434) | more than 3 years ago | (#35392954)

As mentioned its civil war, and there would need to be a lot of coordination and equipment. The curvature of the earth comes into effect when transmitting 300km. This requires repeaters, not to mention you can't just transmit through a mountain. You have to go over (or around) the mountains. There would probably need to be a few satellites involved.

Forget Wireless (1)

Jeremy Lee (9313) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393060)

Get some BIG spools of optic fibre, a plough, and some telco-grade routers. Then just run dozens of cables across the border into the edge towns. Then run the local routers (that all lead to Tripoli and their central telecoms hub) backwards.

Failing that, there's an old Interop saying: "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station-wagon full of tapes on the freeway."

Could We? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393210)

"Should we" is the better question. They are a sovereign nation and wishes should be respected. How you would you feel about a bunch of outsiders pushing their agenda on your fellow citizens, which is exactly what this entails if you boil it down to the basics?

'Internet' isn't a basic human right.

OH NOES (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393278)

Damn those outsiders! What with their pushing Internet upon us! Infidels! Heretics! Idolaters!

IP OVER AVIAN CARRIER IS GREAT!

Re:Could We? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393336)

How you would you feel about a bunch of outsiders

I'll bet the people in Libya who are getting slaughtered might actually welcome GI Joe coming in and turning Ghadafi to fish food. If they promise to leave right after they clean up after themselves.

Even more, I bet they'd welcome some western nation leaving a few truckloads of SAMs for them to use. Ghadafi's Air Force is not so big that they couldn't make a substantial dent.

Re:Could We? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393466)

They are a sovereign nation and wishes should be respected.

Oho, a standard black-and-white absolutist answer. Who decides where the line is between a "sovereign nation" and a disintegrating failed nation in a state of civil war? You? Me? The citizens currently holding the entire country outside the capitol? The guy holding only the capitol?

Re:Could We? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393508)

Most civil wars have some sort of outside influence. Including the American Civil war.

The question I ask are the yahoo's who are revolting any better than the thugs they are revolting against. Many times they are worse.

Can't use 802.11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393330)

we did a custom 802.11 system on an aircraft which we up-converted a 'standard" 802.11B wireless system to X-band and put a 70 W power amplifier on it - we achieved 150 Km BUT we needed a custom modification to the 802.11 protocol because the propagation delay violates the 802.11B timing spec (at least for 11 Mbps) so a simple extended WiFi setup is probably not going to work at 200 Km - you might be able to use a packet-shaper like might be used on a satellite link (like a Packeteer SkyX) which solves this problem another way - but its not a trivial task to setup a two way microwave link without the right equipment and do it in a covert manner

Off topic - how do I see all comments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393412)

How can I immediately view all comments in a story, without clicking on 'more comments' 'more comments' 'more comment' *sigh* 'more comments' or futzing around with whatever that slider's supposed to do? I'm sure there's a button to click somewhere in this new fangled unintuitive slashdot interface, but I can't seem to find it.

Carrier Pigeon Internet (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393520)

Don't under estimate the bandwidth of physically shipping something like a DVD-R, USB stick, or microSD card in or out of libya. You could traffic these items into and out of the war torn state of your choice. They could contain photos, video, messages etc. Gigabytes of content could sail past any borders. It may take a day or two to reach somewhere with unrestricted internet. But when your hauling dozens of gigabytes it still makes good bandwidth. It just doesn't leave a single point of failure like a large and obvious dish on top of a mountain.

We all know a mertic asston of pirated content moves in schools, offices and around the world this way, all anonymous and untraceable, it undoubtedly dwarfs p2p piracy.

In my mind this is far more practical that daisy chaining wok-fi to get bandwidth into the country which gives obvious targets with which to interfere. Something like a microSD card could be stiched into the clothing of a refugee.

So I'm partly serious when I say you could set up homing pigeon internet - strap microSD cards to their feet. Except of course, they would literally drop packets.

Why should we bother ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35393586)

It's a craphole of a country full of ignorant twats who cheered when the Lockerbie bomber was released .. let them suffer and burn!

INTELSAT 11N Already available (1)

ChucktheMan (1991030) | more than 3 years ago | (#35393626)

INTEL sat 11N provides coverage to the area. A 1.2 M dish provides 3.6M downlink 384k uplink the modem is the size of book. If they wanted it, they would already have it.
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