I’m involved in the Vancouver Free the Net.ca initiative (though there may be disagreement over whether “initiative” is the appropriate word to describe it). VanFreetheNet is setting up ad hoc mesh networks in various parts of the city, partly in response to inertia and other issues related to the City of Vancouver’s municipal wireless plans.
We’re using the Meraki units (above right, thanks to Boris Mann for the image) – which look really simple to configure and manage, and only cost $70. Best of all, after this one time cost, each person or business owns the wi-fi node they’ve set up – whether it’s connected to the wider Internet or not. It’s community owned community infrastructure.
Kris KrÃ¼g has got a map of mesh connectivity around the city – that I think is being updated regularly. I’ll be adding at least one node to the Commercial Drive area, and hopefully I can mobilize interest among others in the neighborhood (cafÃ©s offering free wireless and schools in the area – I’m looking at you…). If anyone’s got a business, organization, or other broadband connection they’d like to share, get in touch with Kris at Bryght (kriskrug at gmail dot com) to buy one and get it set up.