Connect globally, act locally. Still plugging away at the community wireless project for our part of the lower east side of Manhattan. And it's starting to take shape, thanks to some neighborhood partnerships and help from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program.
(Click MORE to see an outline of our plans)
Avenue D Network
A community web, based on free wireless access
The Lower Eastside Girls Club and Public School 188 are forming a partnership to bring internet access, science and math education, and wireless broadband to a community that has been underserved in all of those areas.
The main components of the project are:
1) A community technology center at PS188 (Houston and Ave. D) in what is presently the entry foyer of the school. This long, beautiful space, with arched doorways to the outside, will be filled with a wireless internet cafe open to students and parents of the neighborhood. It will also serve as the after-school and weekend headquarters for a project to get students interested and active in science, math, and information technology. Funding for the facility is in place. Architectural design has already been completed. System design and implementation will begin in January of 2005, with the center opening in the fall of that year.
2) A digital photography, video and internet radio center in the Girls Club building, to be constructed between 7th and 8th streets on Avenue D. This building will be certified "green" and will also house commercial spaces at street level and artist studios on the top two floors, in cooperation with FEVA, the Federation of East Village Artists. Groundbreaking on the building will take place in the fall of 2005.
3) A wireless community broadband network, with antennas on the Girls Club and PS188, that will provide free or low cost internet access to the housing projects on Avenue D. It will form the basis of a community -wide network, sharing audio and video programs, health information, business advertising, educational programs, and community news. First evaluations and tests of wireless equipment, range and coverage will begin in spring of 2005. Development of community-specific applications and first network "broadcasts" will also begin at that time.
We are seeking volunteers, interns, and mentors with skills to contribute in many areas, including the following:
Network design, implementation, and security
Wireless broadband system design
Social software, applied to neighborhood wireless communications
Innovative educational approaches combining internet, math and science
Training youth and adults in Information Technology
Global collaboration, through web, VOIP, video conferencing
Video, audio and music production and distribution on the web
Website and weblog design, and training others in that area
RSS, "podcasting", bittorrent, and other emerging distribution methods
Mobile sharing of media and information
There will be opportunities for direct service and initiating educational projects with students and families from the Girls Club and PS 188 starting in Summer 2005.
In addition, we need people who can pursue options for acquiring the bandwidth for the system - copper, fiber, point to point wireless - and develop partnerships with suppliers and manufacturers who would benefit from the visibility of the project and the development of new social software and other community applications.
We are also open to any good idea that adds to the creative mix and serves the neighborhood.
The first results of this effort will be the construction of the PS188 internet center and the creation of a database of resources and a first planning survey, all by the fall of 2005.
The Avenue D Network will be designed by all participating partners, including PS188 students, parents and staff; NYU Interactive Telecommunication Program students and faculty; iEarn advisers; students and staff of the Bard High School; and members of the Lower Eastside Girls Club and FEVA. It will capitalize on and communicate the diversity and creativity of the Lower East Side, and will provide a model for centers in other communities.
Project coordinator: Dave Pentecost, dave.pentecost [at] gmail.comPosted by Dave at December 06, 2004 12:10 AM