The enabling technology of the Althea system is firmware, installed on network routers.
The firmware runs a routing protocol, letting routers pay each other for bandwidth, and automates network configuration.
Routers are connected through accessible and inexpensive hardware, that can meet the needs of any local community.
These routers collectively make up Althea networks, serving buildings, neighborhoods, and communities.
Every Althea networks connects to the Internet through a backhaul - a commercial-grade subscription to the Internet backbone.
The backhaul is organized by Althea network organizers, who help organize and support their local Althea network.
Users are also incentivized to grow the network by connecting their neighbors to the Althea network.