SWITCH & ONIA: Strong partners

We are very pleased to finally announce the on-going collaboration between SWITCH and our association! SWITCH is the Internet Service Provider of education institutions for Switzerland and a backbone of Internet connectivity in the country and it currently operates the backend of The Things Network for Switzerland.

SWITCH IoT Day
© SWITCH: IoT Day, February 2018.

First milestones

Since mid-2017, we have been working together with SWITCH to explore a potential collaboration in the Internet of Things space, in particular LoRaWAN networks based on The Things Network .

Our association presented TTN during various internal events and after establishing a common base of understanding, it was decided to setup a proof-of-concept deployment of The Things Network backend on top of the SWITCH infrastructure. This was the first time a community started operating a TTN Backend outside the ones operated by the TTN Foundation Global.

This was a milestone already, because it helped shape the architecture of the backend towards a more distributed, decentralized model.

Moving forward

After a few months of testing the system, we officially made public our commitment to work together and establish a solid base for open Internet of Things infrastructure during a large event called IoT Day 2018.

During this day, we joined SWITCH and many representatives of Swiss academic institutions and research-related institutes to discuss a common understanding of IoT, the role of SWITCH and ONIA, and our partnership in the future.

Moving forward, a memorandum of understanding between SWITCH and ONIA will be signed, and the interplay of relationships between TTN, ONIA and SWITCH be clarified. The roles of SWITCH and ONIA will be derived from this memorandum.

With regard to the provision of services, SWITCH could follow the principle of being a one-stop shop for Swiss universities and research institutions. ONIA would maintain contact with the open-source scene and the economy, and, together with SWITCH, expedite the development of a community. ONIA would also provide a link between SWITCH and the TTN foundation, promoting TTN at a global level, and would ensure compliance with the TTN Manifesto within Switzerland.

Enough words! Where is the backend?

The Swiss backend, operated by SWITCH has been accessible for a while on the TTN Console. Depending on whether you’re configuring a gateway, or creating an application there are different parts you might be interested in.

Gateway configuration

In order to use the Swiss backend, gateways need to be configured accordingly. The configuration is identical to the usual one; the only required change is the address of the router. See packet forwarder configuration for general configuration instructions.

The address of the Swiss backend is: ttn.opennetworkinfrastructure.org

Application development

The creation and development of applications within the TTN infrastructure is best done through the console of the Swiss backend directly.

When creating a new application, select the Swiss handler from the dropdown list.

The address of the console is: https://console.ttn.opennetworkinfrastructure.org

Acknowledgements

We are very thankful for the huge effort put in by everyone involved in this project, in particular Kurt Baumann (SWITCH) and Simon Gehren (ONIA) to bring this project to fruition.

To the infinite and beyond

We recently achieved an incredible milestone in the Zürich community of The Things Network : we crossed the 100 gateway mark!

100 Gateways

Let me repeat that: there are more than 100 crowd-sourced gateways in Zurich providing open and free LoRaWAN connectivity to everyone around!

This is remarkable because it means that a comparatively small percentage of the population managed to organize themselves in decentralized way to provide solid infrastructure to the entire community! And that is something to celebrate!

Kudos to the amazing community that is pulling this off!

Open Internet Award

We are very, very happy to announce that today our Open Network Infrastructure Association has been awarded in the category Open Internet at the very first edition of DINAcon , the conference for digital sustainability.

Open Internet Award at DINACon

Thank you for being part of this and making it possible!

Make Zurich hackathon

Between January 27th and February 4th, Zürich was the stage of a community-organized hackathon around the topic of civic technologies, and in particular, The Things Network currently operated in the city.

60 participants, 17 LoRaWAN projects

The event was driven by the The Things Network Zürich community in cooperation with the City of Zürich with the goal of bringing together the hacker/maker community that has been deeply involved in the local deployment of The Things Network and the city administration with the idea of exploring new solutions for the city’s problems.

The event attracted around 60 participants from different disciplines that got together on Friday 27th to kick-off an intense week of hacking leading up to a 2-day hackathon on Friday 3rd-Saturday 4th.

During these two days, we had Wienke Giezeman as a special guest on-site, as well as the presence numerous journalists that were covering the event, which culminated with the presentations of a total of 17 projects.

Make Zurich 2017

Swiss country page

Country page

In the days after the event, we also announced the launch of the The Things Network Switzerland country page to promote nation-wide coverage, a project that is being pushed forward by various TTN communities in the country, with the guidance of the Open Network Infrastructure Association.

Founding Day

Yesterday was an amazing day: after months in the making, we finally sealed the deal and founded a civil association to support and promote swiss TTN communities and -more generally- open network infrastructure projects in the country!

Thank you so much to everyone involved!! We were over 20 founding members, and not only Zürich was present, the communities from Bern and Lausanne also joined the founding!

Having a legal entity to represent us will help a lot in ensuring reliability and funding of the network’s operation, and it serves as a bridge between worlds: it allows the community to engage into legal contracts with companies (which otherwise don’t usually know how to deal with a collective of people without legal personality).

One important detail to emphasize is that this will be an instrument to support the community, never a replacement of community in any way!

In the coming days, we will wrap up the formalities (protocol, articles of association, etc and then open source it on github for everyone to fork and replicate this idea anywhere else!

Founding Day
Photo by @tamberg: Founding event of the Open Network Infrastructure Association, 29.08.2016.