Meraki to Enable "First Mile" of San Francisco Community WiFi providing an Entire Square Mile of Neighborhoods with Free Internet Access. Visit http://sf.meraki.net/ for details.
Washington D.C. — March 5, 2007 – Meraki Networks (www.meraki.net), pioneer of the first consumer wireless mesh Internet network designed to "unwire the world," announced today that it is sponsoring and supporting a network that it calls the "The First Mile in Unwiring the World" in San Francisco. Over the next several weeks and months, the company will be working with the community and deploying their powerful and simple technology to bring the 15,000 residents online for free.
Meraki Founder and CEO Sanjit Biswas announced the new community WiFi network at the Freedom to Connect conference in Washington, D.C. The conference is a showcase of the latest in wireless technology and efforts to use new innovative wireless solutions to expand Internet access.
"We want to bring Internet access to the next billion people in the world," said Biswas. "Wireless networks offer the best opportunity we have to connect the rest of this country and the rest of the world to the Internet and our mesh technology is offering an inexpensive and easy way to do it."
There are already 15,000 Meraki users in more than 25 countries. In the US, the technology is now creating inexpensive community-wide WiFi networks in San Diego to Portland and even internationally in Europe and Latin America.
In the San Francisco network, Meraki will set up indoor and outdoor wireless routers to offer free WiFi from Mission Dolores Park through the Castro and Duboce Park Neighborhoods and up to Alamo Square Park, providing free Internet access for homes, parks and local businesses. Meraki is providing the wireless routers and mesh technology and a diverse group of local families, residents, business owners and enthusiasts are coming together to learn about and power their apartments buildings, businesses, parks and favorite landmarks with free WiFi access. http://sf.meraki.net/.
"This is really a community project, and we are excited to work with individuals, families and businesses in this neighborhood to build out the availability of free access," said Sanjit Biswas. "Our goal with this project is to bring free Internet access into homes across this neighborhood and into surrounding areas."
With more than 800 WiFi spots (many of which require a fee) there is only about one access point for every 1,000 residents in San Francisco, creating huge stretches and whole neighborhoods that are not served by wifi access. As the second hilliest city in the world, there are also concerns about WiFi signal strength in San Francisco, but with Meraki's wireless mesh technology, the networks nodes work together in an organic fashion to create a reliable and flexible network.
Meraki is working with Bay Area wireless groups and will use this first network in San Francisco to showcase new features being developed at Meraki as well as features community members request. The Meraki Mini is a tiny 802.11 b/g wireless router that simply plugs into a wall outlet and an Internet connection, and can also work as a repeater for an existing Internet network, extending the wireless range. The Meraki Mini is an inexpensive but high powered way for consumers and communities to start creating their own networks and will be for sale from www.meraki.net in the coming weeks for $49. An outdoor version with a range of up to 700 feet is also available for $99.
About Meraki Networks
Meraki Networks, pioneer of the first consumer wireless mesh Internet network designed to "unwire the world", and bring Internet access to all. Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. Meraki was founded in 2006 by Ph.D. candidates from MIT with the goal of bringing affordable wireless Internet access to people around the world. The Meraki team is developing low-cost, easy-to-install and use, wireless mesh technology that enables consumers to cover their homes, apartment complexes and entire communities with powerful wireless Internet access immediately. Meraki's technology enables community-wide wireless mesh Internet networks without the need for much time, money or expertise. Meraki is also experimenting with groundbreaking ways to offer free Internet access to Meraki customers. Meraki attracted more than 15,000 users in 25 countries during its beta period and was funded by angel investors, including Google, and a Series A round of funding in January 2007. For more information, visit: www.meraki.net
Atomic Public Relations