Monday, September 15, 2008

Meraki Expands Free Public Wi-Fi in San Francisco

Meraki announced a company milestone -- its free Wi-Fi network is present in 80% of San Francisco's major neighborhoods and that it is on track to complete its mission to "unwire" San Francisco by the end of the year. Additionally, the company plans to add wireless coverage to dozens of affordable housing and senior centers throughout the city by the end of the year providing access to thousands of residents.

For 2009, Meraki anticipates deepening coverage of its "Free the Net" in San Francisco.

  • In January 2008, Meraki, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, raised $20 million in Series B funding of from Sequoia Capital, DAG Ventures, Northgate Capital and other existing investors for its municipal wireless networking plans. Meraki said it is pioneering networking technologies to bring the next billion people online. The company offers a low-cost, easy-to-install and use, wireless mesh technology that enables consumers to cover their homes, apartment complexes and entire communities. The technology creates a wireless network by combining signals from hundreds or thousands of low-power radio repeaters installed on rooftops, balconies and windows, extending WiFi access to city residents in their homes and businesses. Through communication with Meraki central servers and intelligence worked into every repeater, each point in the network is automatically optimized for speed and performance without any maintenance required of users. The backbone of the San Francisco network will be built using hundreds of small solar-powered distribution points, installed on residential and commercial rooftops -- enabling quick installation and reliable operation. As the network extends into new neighborhoods, Meraki will offer San Francisco residents free repeaters that will bring a high-speed, broadband signal into their homes while strengthening the network and providing coverage to neighbors. A repeater is not required to receive wireless access, residents may simply hop on the free network provided by repeaters throughout the neighborhood.

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