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(Greek) Project of the day: Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network

photo of Vasilis Kostakis

Vasilis Kostakis
3rd December 2013


Greece might have seriously been criticised for a lack of competiveness and a market that does not catalyse innovation; however, the country is arguably a “social innovation paradise”. The Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network (AWMN) is one more example of this “social innovation paradise” neoliberals have inadvertently succeeded in creating. Started in 2002 in Athens, Greece, AWMN is a grassroots wireless community, taking advantage of new, state of the art wireless technologies, to connect people and services. Joe Kloc, in a relevant Daily dot article, writes:

“In an effort to buck the expensive rates of unreliable corporate telecom companies, a community in Athens, Greece has created its own private Internet. Built from a network of wireless rooftop antennas, the Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network (AWMN) now has more than 1,000 members. Data moves “through” the AWMN mesh up to 30 times faster than it does on the telecom-provided Internet. According to Mother Jones, this off-the-grid community has become so popular in Athens and on nearby islands that it has developed its own Craigslist-esque classifieds service as well as blogs and an internal search engine. “It’s like a whole other web,” AWMN user Joseph Bonicioli told the magazine. “It’s our network, but it’s also a playground.”

More info about AWMN can be found at its Wikipedia entry.

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