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FAQsRules for TARPNs ➜ Other People's Money

Rule#5: Other People's Money.

The proper method for utilizing big-money funding to build a packet network is to create a wholly big-money sponsored network. Large organization sponsorship of an Amateur Radio project does not coexist well with a privately funded project or club project. In some cases, a club network is similarly lacking in trivial co-existence with a privately funded network.

The interaction between a large sponsor and individual contributers is especially difficult when the large sponsor is the newcomer to an established individual effort. A new larger funding source creates these issues, to a lesser or greater extent:

These changes have been seen with government funding of what was otherwise an individually funded packet radio network. This can easily be imagined with other large grants and with other otherwise individually funded projects.

The proper amount of involvement for a hospital or a government agency in a private system is limited to the outfitting of non competitive sites with convenience features which make it possible for volunteers to operate, make changes, install, remove, or otherwise service an installation when the time comes that the volunteers choose to participate. Convenience features include access, power sources, coax runs, tower space. If the facility wants to pre-position equipment to permit operation, be very guarded. If they want dedication of external resources to tie into grant-purchased equipment, tell them that you'll consult with them separately and stop considering that this is an Amateur operation. What you are entering into is called "a contract".

We have no problem with universities, hospitals, counties, states, or FEMA building a packet radio network. They can even do it on Amateur Radio frequencies. Please beware of mixing foundation/government money with individual contributors. It would be much better for the efforts to remain separate, joining up only in a time when the larger agency feels they must depend on the individuals' time, expertise, and last, equipment.

© Tadd Torborg, 2014↝2017 -- all rights reserved