Mesh Networks & Blockchain Benefits




APRIL 01, 2018

Bear in mind there is POWER TO THE PEOPLE.

Energy  Infrastructure is the most important thing to all human beings. Without it we are rendered useless. The 21st century is all about innovation and development. Various changes and transformation are happening around us. Energy is the key driving force of all the development. Whether we talk about blockchain or our daily life, energy in every form is the running force behind it. When we are saying that it is an important source, then we must conserve it, and there are various transformations in this sector as well. 

We can use mesh networks to connect a number of different things instilling intelligence  infrastructure by adding smart devices that connect to one another. Imagine creating a secure, flexible and inexpensive network that enables a multitude of opportunities for new services, more participants, and greater economic value.  The first known mesh network  was in 1998-1999, a field implementation of a campus wide wireless network using 802.11 WaveLAN 2.4 GHz wireless interface on several laptops was successfully completed. Several real applications, mobility and data transmissions were made.

These networks can automatically reconfigure themselves depending upon availability of bandwidth, storage, or other capacity and therefore resist breakage or other interruption. Communities can use mesh networks for basic connectivity where they lack access or affordable service. Mesh networks are alternatives to traditional top-down organisations, regulation, and control; they can provide greater privacy and security because traffic doesn’t route through a central organisation.  

Organisations are already combining mesh networks with blockchain technology to solve complex infrastructure problems. Filament, an American company , is experimenting with what it calls “taps” on power poles in the Australian outback.

These devices can talk directly to each other at distances of up to 10 miles. Because the power poles are approximately 200 feet apart, a motion detector on a pole that’s falling will notify the next pole 200 feet away that it’s in trouble. If for any reason the tap on that pole isn’t available, it will communicate with the next pole, or to the next pole (up to 10 miles) that will communicate to the company through the closest Internet backhaul location.

With the taps twenty-year battery and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) technology, customers can connect to their devices directly with their own phone, tablet, or computer. The tap can contain numerous sensors to detect temperature, humidity, light, and sound, all of which customers could use to monitor and analyse conditions over time, maybe to develop predictive algorithms on the life cycle or impending failure of a power pole. Customers could become WeatherNodes or meter these data as information service or licence the data set through the blockchain to another user, such as a government, broadcaster, pole manufacturer, or environmental agency.

Filament’s business model is a service model involving three parties:

Filament, it’s integration customer, and the utility company. Filament owns the hardware; it’s devices continually monitor the condition of the power poles and report changes, whether they’re fallen, on fire, or compromised by dust accumulation or brush fire smoke. Filament sells the sensor data stream to the integrator, and this integrator sells to the utility.

The utility pays monthly for the a monitoring service. The service enables the power company to eliminate the very expensive field inspection of its operations. Because power poles rarely fail, the power company rarely uses the actual communication capability of the mesh network, and so Filament could deploy the excess capacity of the taps for other uses.

“Since Filament owns the devices, we can sell extra network capacity on top of this network that spans most of the continent,” said Eric Jennings, Filament’s co-founder and CEO. “Filament could strike a deal with FedEx to give their semitrucks the ability to send telemetry data to HQ in real time, over our network in rural Australia. We add FedEx to the smart contract list, and now they can pay each device to send data on their behalf.” FedEx drivers could use the mesh network for communications and vehicle tracking across remote areas to indicate estimated arrival times and breakdowns. The network could alert the nearest repair facility to dispatch the necessary parts and equipment.

Blockchain technology is critical. The Internet of Things (IoT) application depends on the Ledger of Things. With tens of thousands of smart poles collecting data through numerous sensors and communicating that data to another device, computer, or person, the system  needs to continually track everything – including the ability to identify each unique pole-to ensure it’s reliability.

“Nothing else works without identity,” said Jennings. “The blockchain for identity is the core for the Internet of Things. We create a unique path for each device. That path, that identity, is the stored in the bitcoin blockchain assigned to Filament. Just like a bitcoin it can be sent to any address.” The blockchain ( along with smart contracts) also ensures that the devices are paid for so they continue to work. The Internet of Things cannot function without blockchain payment networks, where bitcoin is the universal transactional language    

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by Dan Bennett

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