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An open standard IEEE 802.11 wireless local area networking technology provides an inexpensive and easy way to share bandwidth among multiple users. Such technology makes it possible to implement ad hoc wireless community networks using fixed wireless nodes rather than conventional base. A rural ad hoc network forwards packets from one wireless node to another to route data to a limited number of Internet gateways. A wireless community network uses two types of links between nodes. Point-to-multipoint links use omnidirectional antennas, while point-to-point links employ unidirectional antennas.