Originally Posted by Hulk
Do you need one on each end? This sounds pretty interesting.
I'm reading more about this, but I suppose we'd need at least one base radio with the Internet connection, then any units afield need to be packet capable and have range enough to talk to it. I'm fairly certain that could even be old handhelds. The network itself is distributed and so could be as small as the Internet base and one mobile or city-wide if a lot of people have their nodes on. It's APRS/packet/repeaters all wrapped up and pumped full of steroids.
For anyone who says ham radio is a bunch of anti-social old farts should read about this stuff, BTW. The part of the hobby where this falls is called HSMM, High Speed Multimedia radio. It's using the fact that the FCC does not restrict bandwidth above 900MHz and so we can utilize better coding techniques to jam more through the pipe. Some of these guys are building ad hoc mesh networks utilizing ham spectrum with 20Mbps throughput that operate independent of the cell and POTS networks. This is a lot more than just a periodic GPS beacon or PSK31 QSO.
Obviously the portal to the larger Internet depends on a link someplace, but the mesh itself can run standalone (and it could find alternates to the broken link, maybe even an OSCAR with an Internet router maybe one day) and is really the main point. This turns out to be dang handy because since it's all based on IP you can use a regular IP phone (like a Vonage or Skype phones) or any WiFi type device in the network. You can use IP bridges to get a dial-tone even, just plug in a COTS fax machine! This is a major advancement of simple digital packet radio during emergencies and was leveraged up in Minneapolis during the bridge fall, for example, when the ARES/RACES used their 2.4GHz HSMM network.