- Meraki: the individual as internet access provider.
- The platform is a mesh network technology.
- Individuals can make their internet connection available, integrated in a local network of participants. They become access providers.
- The users that connect to the network don’t pay for the internet service.
- The individual providing the service can display ads on the sign-up and browsing page, realizing some economic gain (paid ads, social capital, networking). It is also possible to bill for usage.
- There is a strong social and community motivation to have a "Free Internet". Some individuals pay for the access, and make it available to others (they use their assets, put them to “work”).
- Issue: A powerful idea for expanding internet aceess, making it universal. But how to regulate a network in which every individual contributes a variable share of his computational resources. How could a fair compensation be reached in a system of complex (mesh), very small, distributed and widely differing contributions?
- A Free Mesh Network for San Francisco
Complexity: "As many as 100 people can comfortably share a DSL line; Meraki calculates they're getting 1 megabyte per second on average. As with any network, speed drops as more people log on, but heavy traffic automatically reroutes to nearby, less-trafficked connections." (Fast Company)