San Francisco may end up getting city-wide WiFi access after all--that is if enough volunteers are found. Meraki, whose mission is to bring affordable Internet to the masses using off-the-shelf WiFi equipment and grassroots volunteerism, is expanding its WiFi network from two San Francisco neighborhoods to the entire city.
The premise of Meraki is using ad-hoc networks that are formed using shared broadband connections and Meraki's WiFi repeaters that users place in their windows, balconies or roofs. After experimenting with the networks in the San Fran neighborhoods of Castro and Dolores Park, Meraki found that its sign-up page started attracting residents throughout San Francisco. Today, Meraki supports about 6,500 users and 200 volunteers who actively share bandwidth and have placed repeaters on their premises. In order to cover the areas Meraki plans, it will need about 2000 volunteers. Meraki was named a Fierce 15 company by FierceBroadbandWireless.
For more about Meraki's plans in San Francisco:
- read this blog post on GigaOm
-Â A mesh network that truly bridges the digital divide