After EarthLink and Google gave up on high-speed networks that would have seen San Francisco gain access to free wireless service, Meraki Networks Inc. is now taking a stab at it.
Financially backed up by Google, the Silicon Valley startup could make an even bigger name for itself if it follows through with its promise to "blanket San Francisco with free wireless Internet service." Although the specifics on their daunting plan will be released today, Meraki's wireless idea would involve "thousands of San Francisco residents to set up free radio repeaters on their rooftops and in their houses." Google's and EarthLink's plans required the installation of transmitters on "street poles and other public property, a more expensive strategy that also involved more bureaucratic red tape and political haggling." That is to say, what with the vile viscosity of San Francisco politics, it never would have gotten done. Ever.
Meraki's main detractors would be the environmentally paranoid and crystal meth addicts.