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Solar Energy meraki_solar

Published on November 19th, 2008 | by Jerry James Stone

6

Free Solar-Powered WiFi Coming to a Town Near You

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November 19th, 2008 by
 

Meraki — the ubiquitous WiFi company — announced that their much anticipated solar unit will begin shipping on December 4 as part of the company’s mission to bring affordable Internet access to everyone. Here in San Francisco, I often connect my iPhone to their Free the Net hot spots while out and about.

But San Francisco isn’t the only place to benefit from this. According to the company, their customers span 125 countries and range from operators for individual buildings to large carriers connecting entire towns and regions. It seems the new solar units can only further their goal. The units will be ideal for such places as fair grounds, parks and rural areas.

[social_buttons] The unit isn’t cheap, costing $749 for a bring-your-own-panel model and up to $1,499 for larger units. But as pricey as that is, it can be significantly less than a wired solution.

It will be interesting to see if Meraki can complete their goal considering how large companies like Google and EarthLink have failed at such efforts both here in San Francisco and in other cities like Philadelphia.

Image: Meraki press resources

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About the Author

is a web developer, part-time blogger, and a full-time environmentalist. His crusade for all things eco started twenty years ago when he ditched his meat-and-potatoes upbringing for something more vegetarian-shaped. His passions include cooking, green tech, eco politics, and smart green design. And while he doesn't own a car anymore, he loves to write about those too. Jerry studied at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. During his time there he was a DJ at the campus station KCPR and he also wrote for the campus paper. Jerry currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his cat Lola. You can stalk him on Twitter @jerryjamesstone.



  • Peter Mu

    Much of that slow growth is due to the different competing interest groups in the broadband internet access industry. Phone companies is hanging on to what they have left and pushing for all in one package TV+Phone+internet deals. Most people needs TV at home and dont mind paying $50 to $100 a month for it. Adding the phone and internet makes economic sense. Then there is WiMax. Sprint had commited to launch in March 08 and that didnt come through. Intel seems to be the only supporter from the back end while the rest of the industry is turning to 3G networks for both WCDMA and EVDO. With 4G and LTE looming on the horizon promising luxuries like Multi Media Messaging, Digital Video Broadcasting, and HDTV to your mobile it makes me wonder how far WIFI is really going to take us. It does offer wider bandwidth for now but that deteriorates rapidly with the number of subscribers. Recently i was in Baltimore for a conference and there was three routers for about the 200 of us. It was so slow i wish i had a dial up. Free Wifi in a city will be challenging.

  • Peter Mu

    Much of that slow growth is due to the different competing interest groups in the broadband internet access industry. Phone companies is hanging on to what they have left and pushing for all in one package TV+Phone+internet deals. Most people needs TV at home and dont mind paying $50 to $100 a month for it. Adding the phone and internet makes economic sense. Then there is WiMax. Sprint had commited to launch in March 08 and that didnt come through. Intel seems to be the only supporter from the back end while the rest of the industry is turning to 3G networks for both WCDMA and EVDO. With 4G and LTE looming on the horizon promising luxuries like Multi Media Messaging, Digital Video Broadcasting, and HDTV to your mobile it makes me wonder how far WIFI is really going to take us. It does offer wider bandwidth for now but that deteriorates rapidly with the number of subscribers. Recently i was in Baltimore for a conference and there was three routers for about the 200 of us. It was so slow i wish i had a dial up. Free Wifi in a city will be challenging.

  • Peter Mu

    Much of that slow growth is due to the different competing interest groups in the broadband internet access industry. Phone companies is hanging on to what they have left and pushing for all in one package TV+Phone+internet deals. Most people needs TV at home and dont mind paying $50 to $100 a month for it. Adding the phone and internet makes economic sense. Then there is WiMax. Sprint had commited to launch in March 08 and that didnt come through. Intel seems to be the only supporter from the back end while the rest of the industry is turning to 3G networks for both WCDMA and EVDO. With 4G and LTE looming on the horizon promising luxuries like Multi Media Messaging, Digital Video Broadcasting, and HDTV to your mobile it makes me wonder how far WIFI is really going to take us. It does offer wider bandwidth for now but that deteriorates rapidly with the number of subscribers. Recently i was in Baltimore for a conference and there was three routers for about the 200 of us. It was so slow i wish i had a dial up. Free Wifi in a city will be challenging.

  • http://globalpatriot.com Global Patriot

    Solar and WiFi is the ultimate combination, though as mentioned above, the free connectivity industry has grown much slower than everyone had once hoped it would. It would be nice to see neighborhood businesses collectively sponsor hot spots in their area.

  • http://globalpatriot.com Global Patriot

    Solar and WiFi is the ultimate combination, though as mentioned above, the free connectivity industry has grown much slower than everyone had once hoped it would. It would be nice to see neighborhood businesses collectively sponsor hot spots in their area.

  • http://globalpatriot.com Global Patriot

    Solar and WiFi is the ultimate combination, though as mentioned above, the free connectivity industry has grown much slower than everyone had once hoped it would. It would be nice to see neighborhood businesses collectively sponsor hot spots in their area.

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