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I think Wi-fi mesh networks are the only way we can have close to fully decentralized Internet. Ideally the new "Internet" would work completely P2P from one user to the next, either from router to router or from mobile phone to mobile phone. But the technology will probably not be very practical this decade, but I could see it catching on in "niche" markets, like in oppressed countries, and then grow organically from there.



By oppressed countries, do you mean those that enact laws that enable the government to censor parts of the internet and/or deny citizens access to the internet as a whole? Like, for example, England and France? (And perhaps soon the US as well?) If so, I'm not sure that counts as a "niche" market!


I think that this seems more suited for urban areas in the US, France, and England more than blatantly oppressive countries. I'd imagine that if this caught on somewhere more seriously oppressed by its governments, a few guys with guns would start driving around with a laptop and knocking on doors:

"Excuse me, sir, but there seems to be a wi-fi network originating in your house with the name 'Kleinrock-Node.' Come with us please."


In these countries, despite nominally censored traffic, the majority is not routinely prevented from doing what it wants to do. Facebook is (and will continue to be) available, as will Google, and email services, and nearly everything else of interest to most people. "Oppressed", in this context, refers to places where people are intensely aware of censorship. This daily, universal annoyance could be a much better catalyst for the creation of distributed systems than is the violation of a far-removed moral (or even practical) principle.


I was thinking lately that it seems that in time new companies appear that have the incentive to move things forward.

For example, Google has the incentive to make the web as fast as possible because they are mainly a web company, so it's in their interest to do that, while for Microsoft and Apple, the web might not be their first priority, and at times they might even try to restrict it, so it prolongs the survival of their own platforms.

In the same time, I was thinking about Facebook's Project Spartan, and how they have an incentive to create a webstore that works on all platforms, while Google's incentive is to have it work only on Chrome, or more recently to have some of their services work only on Android. In this case it would be both's Google's and Apple's incentives, to keep us as locked in as possible on their platforms, while it's Facebook's incentive to liberate us from the locked platforms.

And this is where I wanted to get. I think there will be companies that will appear in the future, that will have the incentive to make a fully decentralized P2P Internet work, and once again none of the "old" giants, whether it's Facebook, Google, or even Apple and Microsoft, will like this idea. For example, both Facebook and Google would hate the idea of a completely anonymized Internet, because that goes directly in the opposite direction from their profit incentive. But, like I said, I think there will be companies that will be able to make that work in their favor, and thrive from it as it becomes their main profit incentive to support it.




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