Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network

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By Joe Kloc:

"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." (


"Started in 2002 in Athens Greece, Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network (AWMN) is a grassroots wireless community, taking advantage of new, state of the art wireless technologies, to connect people and services. The network is comprised of 1120 backbone nodes (as of Aug, 2010) and more than 2900 client computers connect to it. More than 9,000 people have stated their intention to join AWMN in the near future. There is also an association-club named awmn.

Although the network began in Athens, its activities are no longer limited to the single city. It covers a geographical area (110 km from North to South and 85 km from West to East).The wide expansion of the network allows isolated areas with poor technological and broadband infrastructure to connect with the Athenian network.

AWMN was formed as an alternative broadband network of people for the people. In the community, personal relationships play a very active role in the network development, encouraging the community’s social life.

The main purpose of the association is to promote two-way digital broadband telecommunication services to the public as a non-profit activity, in collaboration with schools, local authorities, NGOs and other Community Wireless Networks in Greece." (