"As far as I understand the distinction, P2P works on the existing infrastructure, which may or not be P2P itself, while meshworks create a new infrastructure which is much more thoroughly distributed."
This is a bit confusing.
My understanding is that P2P is a communication protocol that allows direct contact from point to point (or rather peer to peer) for the purpose of exchanging data. P2P now functions on the normal internet infrastructure, where communications are routed from user to access provider to server and back to access provider and user at the other end. P2P could function more efficiently on a mesh network type infrastructure, because some of the exchanges between peers would be local and would not have to route all the way to a central server before coming back to the peer at the other end.
Mesh Networks, on the other hand, are part of the physical infrastructure of communication. They can act as a complement to, and in some cases could even replace, the current tree-based infrastructure.
Consumer-based mesh networks could be developed in synergy with the current infrastructure, to bridge the "last mile" that broadband access providers have some trouble bridging. In municipal wireless, it appears that the larger the project, the more difficult and the more expensive to provide the needed coverage.
So a synergistic development could be the promotion of a consumer-based mesh where municipalities merely provide neighborhood access points and the users do the rest by building the mesh.
--Sepp 03:55, 10 March 2008 (PDT)