Project Details



Delivering easy-to-use, secure and robust mesh networking capabilities.

Project URL:

  • Community Engagement
  • Internet
  • Physical Computing

As the self-described “ad hoc wireless mesh network for the zombie apocalypse”, Byzantium is not your average internet service provider, and its creators aren’t your average programmers either. The group get together one weekend a month under the leadership of an individual known simply as The Doctor (they won’t give out their identity for fear that their employer will object to their involvement in the project) to design a homemade network that they could put online if an oppressive government ever tried to close down parts of the existing one. If this sounds like a bizarre non-eventuality to you, remember that many governments have already done this or do this: most recently the Egyptian government during recent and on-going Arab uprisings.

Project Byzantium is part of what is known as the “free network movement”. The movement is populated by academics and programmers who are concerned that the current global net is increasingly subject to undue control and surveillance by governments and corporations. There is also a more positive motivation underpinned by a view that the internet has not yet lived up to its “social” potential, and is instead succumbing to the marketing agendas of big corporations.

What Byzantium could do if successful, is provide an informal mesh network through connecting users to nearby computers which can pass along the signal to others; this approach could be shared as free community networks, widening access to low-income users as well. One part paranoia (potentially well founded), and one part utopian optimism makes Project Byzantium certainly one to watch.

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Last updated: 09th of May, 2014

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