Chris Brogan has a thing he calls Friend-Sourcing; others have called it collaboration, the wisdom of the crowd, etc. Regardless of what you call it, here's the situation at PodCamp NYC. The event is moving along smoothly except for one thing. Due to liability and regulations which they have little control over, the New School cannot grant Internet access to PodCamp NYC. After all the lawsuits about the RIAA going after colleges recently, I can't blame them one bit - PodCamp is a great social movement and a great learning opportunity, but if I were the dean of the New School, I don't know that I could risk the potential of a lawsuit - justified or not - from the RIAA. One lawsuit could literally put you out of business.
So, the short version is that PodCamp NYC needs a wi-fi solution (and the RIAA are a bunch of boobs). Some options being explored are things like a permanent dedicated line from a fixed wireless vendor, but I KNOW there are other solutions out there. There was an episode of Geek Brief TV a while back when Cali had a Wi-Fi access point with an EVDO card slot that she used as their permanent wireless solution at home. If I remember correctly, it delivered close to 1 Mbps downstream. I think she said the solution was about $300; a few of those floating around and you'd have coverage. It wouldn't be OC-3 quality, but it'd be better than going dark.
At BarCamp Boston, a takeaway from that event was that if you give a bunch of geeks a solution, they tend to point out the flaws in it, but if you give them a problem to solve, they LOVE taking ownership and making it WORK.
So, how can YOU help to solve the blackout at PodCamp NYC?