Oct 2 (7 PM):
An update on the activities of Vancouver’s free community wi-fi initiative. I’m in the meeting right now – we’re talking tech, project visioning, and media messaging for the project. It’s an energetic group, and you can view the all confabbing in the image at right. The project is alive and well, yet not without its technical/political/economic challenges … which all seem to be rolled up into one giant challenge right now…
Below right is a pic of one of the Meraki units in the process of being hacked. We’re having some issues digging in – something to do with proprietary cables and other issues outside of my expertise.
Update (Oct 4):
Later that evening we got to the elephant in the corner issues, such as dealing with home ISP connections, User Agreements, and security of the mesh. We’ve since had more media coverage on some neocon pundit show or something like that, and the momentum is still very strong.
Another Update (Oct 4):
There appear to be some changes going on with Meraki’s administration packages. Meraki is changing price points and feature sets around, which might mean that our initiative (and many others around the world) will have to “shift gear”. The MIT Roofnet project may serve as a model for us, but we’re looking into solutions achieved in other cities without the use of Meraki (or using successfully hacked Meraki) units.
Of course, all of this rests on the assumption that Meraki might offer something better to the many groups who’ve invested heavily in their hardware in recent months. It’d be a shame to see so many initiatives get throttled, especially given all the positive press Meraki has received in many cities, not to mention here, in the blogosphere…