I am a happy and convinced FON user: share your wireless with the world, and use the world’s wireless, in a controlled way. Meraki though is a very interesting, mildly comparable project. The wireless Meraki access points are either connected to the internet or not, and create, automatically, a meshed network of the neighborhood. This has the potential of providing low income neighborhoods with very affordable access.

Meraki’s mission is to bring affordable Internet access to the next billion people. Meraki’s new approach to wireless networking empowers individuals and groups to bring access to local communities, anywhere in the world.

Meraki has focused on changing the economics of access since its beginning as a MIT Ph.D. research project that provided wireless access to graduate students.

Using their research, Meraki got its start at a low-income housing community in the US. News about Meraki’s products spread by word of mouth into over 25 countries around the world. Every day, new Meraki networks bring access to locations ranging from urban apartment complexes in London to villages in India.

Through Scientific American.