The internet is a large communication network comprised of smaller networks. Its power is obvious – communication over great distances of wire has enabled virtual communities to come together, organize, share, and create. However, in our excitement about wide area communications we have neglected the local area, the physical communities in which our infrastructure lives. While the internet continues to develop into a tool for institutional control and corporate surveillance, I believe that the local area network can function as a site for resistance and coalition building

The Othernet began with a vision of internet islands: a world of tiny independent networked communities with their own character and rules. Its a project about the possibility of escape from systems that seem inevitable. A practical course of action for reclaiming the potential of networks that are shaped by the communities they serve.

The Othernet is another network in Bed Stuy – new infrastructure and applications that enable neighbors to browse and create “web” content. The result is an alternative constellation of web pages that are only accessible in Bed Stuy and are made by neighbors.

Currently supported by Eyebeam and the Risk Economics Lab at NYU

Imagine another internet. Location specific, not through geofencing, but through the physical limits of its infrastructure. There are webpages here that do not exist there. They are not meant for you. Like a street mural, this internet island becomes a projection and a reflection of the network neighborhood.

The first application on the Othernet allows neighbors to browse and create web content. The result is the formation of a network of webpages made by members of the community. If a neighbor connects to the Othernet ( like you can to any other internet hot spot ) and opens up their web browser they are transported to a search engine.  This search engine allows neighbors to look up webpages that are hosted on the Othernet. To host a page, all you need to do is create a username, choose a URL, and upload the document you want to host.

Dhruv@riseup.net :: public key