The Portable Network Kit (PNK) is a wireless network in a suitcase that helps people understand how to build their own mini-internet – and with it, how the internet works and might be owned and governed more equitably. Originally conceived as a network repair kit for Resilient Networks for RISE: NYC in New York City, the kits were repurposed to work both as a teaching tool and as an emergency standalone wireless network. PNKs consist of off-the-shelf hardware and open-source software housed in a waterproof, battery-powered, solar-enabled kit. The kits can be used to connect to an existing internet connection or offline as a local wireless networking system, complete with its own server, chat service, and document editor.
PNKs are not a product – we don’t sell them off-the-shelf. CTNY uses PNKs when training community members in network development and deployment, giving them practical hands-on experience that can serve as a springboard for building their own networks with in-person or remote learning support.