By the title and that this is under the Amateur Radio section the first thought is this is going to be about HSMM Mesh (Now known as Broadband-Hamnet) or AREDN (Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network). And I will discuss both very briefly, right now then move on to the reason for this page.
Both of the technologies mentioned above are Part 97 which means you must be a licensed Amateur Radio operator to use them. Also, because they are Part 97 it means that you cannot encrypt any of the data traffic which means you cannot legally use websites that are https or secure shell connections like ssh.
What we are going to talk about is high speed data using the unlicensed spectrum in either the 2.4, 3.5 of 5 Ghz. For the purpose of this page, everything we are talking about is mostly using Ubiquity 5 Ghz gear.
The amazing thing is a dish costing under $300 can easily go 15 miles and we have some links going close to 50 miles.
I recently got involved with a group here in the Mid-Atlantic area that is building an IP backbone that is completely wireless with internet access at strategic locations on the network. There is also a network in central Pennsylvania that is using the same gear and both of the networks are connected at one location at this point.
So the overall purpose of these networks is to provide IP services when the internet is not available. Emergency organizations connect to the wireless backbone and only use it in the event of emergency. Also, some of the common internet services like maps are also available on the backbone in the event that you cannot get to google maps, etc.
There is VOIP and video on the backbone as well allowing the organizations to communicate via video or voice as well as look at remote cameras across the network. Additional services will be added in time as well.
I got involved and used my 20 years of enterprise networking experience to put together a network design that is highly available, resilient to failure, does not use Layer 2, has a fast failover and can route to the shortest path saving network bandwidth and also being able to route to the closest and fastest gateway to the internet.
Below is the presentation that I put together and was my first network design. I am working on a newer design that implements MPLS instead of tagged vlans over the wireless links.