I gave a demonstration to my parents of how Skype works and how I'll be building these private networks. I had James try the Skype Test Call over the phone. He got a confused look as though he didn't know quite what he was doing. Next we called a man in Malaysia and had him on speaker phone. The speaker was a little crackly, but we heard him clearly. I asked him where he was (Malaysia) and what time it was there.
After the demonstration, James had a lot of questions about the legality of these networks. I explained to him how people use private networks all the time without knowing it. CB/Ham radios. Free cell phone to cell phone calling. Even hooking up a generator to your house is using a private network of sorts. After all his questions, I think he has a better understanding of what I'm doing.
My mother is becoming incrementally more supportive. She's moved from luke warm to real interest. She's heard calls from Taiwan and Malaysia so far. Once I get some SkypeOut minutes, I'll have her call her brother in Washington and maybe even Japan where she lived for awhile.