Where for art Thou, Meraki?

Meraki is an interesting company that specializes in creating wifi repeaters so that you can create a wireless internet grid wherever you may be. This by itself is not necessarily all that impressive as there are a great many companies already doing this. What is interesting is that they’re using San Francisco as a testing ground for their equipment. The initiative is called, free the net. All one living in San Francisco has to do to take part is be within range of their signal, request a free repeater to be sent to them, plug it in and then help broadcast the signal. They don’t use your internet connection to do this, so all it really costs you is a small trickle of electricity each month. Read more about them if you like.
It’s a pretty cool thing, which as you can see by this map, has exploded in certain areas of the city like the Mission. I think anywhere down there you can hop on the Meraki grid. For those of us you live a bit uptown, the situation is a little dire as you can see in the screen capture below. Yes, I live right in the middle of that dead zone. I’ve been waiting for the signal to creep up to my neighborhood in order to get one of the indoor repeaters, but it seems that no one has really gotten in to the initiative. This means it’s time to take things in to my own hands.
Meraki has an additional program for those who are interested which involves installing an outdoor repeater. It’s a bit more invasive of a thing to do and if you live on the top floor of a building, it should be decently doable and hopefully doable without pissing off the building owner. I’ve been bouncing emails back and forth with the Meraki folks to try and get this happening, so we’ll see where it goes.
You might be asking as to why I want to bother? Well, sometime back a public wifi initiative that was one of Mayor Newsome’s Big Ideas failed miserably. Maybe it was due to slightly misinformed people or maybe it was just due to ineptitude of his administration. Whatever the case, I want the Meraki initiative to succeed like crazy because in November, San Francisco is voting to take over running all the gas and electricity in city from PG&E. Now, I don’t like PG&E at all. Once they backdated a bill at a place I had lived in for two months to be $12,000. That took six months of wrangling to finally get down to the $150 that I actually owed. But, despite this, they have been running their grids in California for 103 years. If the city can’t toss together a public wifi grid, even on a limited scale, then I seriously have my doubts as to how they’re going to supply my electricity and gas. About the only thing I can think as an outcome of this is that they will fail in delivering electricity at some point which will then make moot their inability to deliver a public wifi grid as we would then have no way to turn our computers to enjoy said grid.
Where for art Thou, Meraki?