Meta Mesh Wireless Communities is proud to announce our In-Home WiFi pilot project Every1online: Internet Access for three in-need Pittsburgh Communities: Homewood, Coraopolis, and New Kensington-Arnold.
Go to https://www.metamesh.org/press/ to see a joint Press Release on Every1online.
Questions? Of course you do! We want to hear from you! Call Meta Mesh at 412-223-4253x104 to speak to a member of our team.
We need to bridge Pittsburgh’s Digital Divide. By creating a community-based, non-profit Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP), Meta Mesh will provide Internet to the homes of Pittsburghers who need it most.
Every1online will be built out in phases to provide residential Internet access starting with New Kensington-Arnold, Coraopolis, and Homewood. This first phase prioritizes households with K-12 students and provides 12 months of FREE in-home Internet access.
How it works:
Meta Mesh Wireless Communities’ bandwidth is transmitted from atop the Cathedral of Learning in Oakland via high-powered radios.
These radios connect to “repeater towers” in each of our target neighborhoods. Each participant’s home or apartment will have a small receiver installed on the outside of their residence, pointed at the local repeater tower.
Finally, this receiver connects to a WiFi router in the home where a fast, secure, and private WiFi network is created for a family’s use. We can even set up multiple networks in a single building using just one receiver on the outside like in the diagram below.
The equipment is small and light. The receiver is about the size of a coffee mug and mounts on a two foot pole outside the home. A single cable connects it to the indoor WiFi router, which is a small black cube. The receiver gets power through the Ethernet cable, so only the WiFi router needs to be plugged into a power outlet. The router even has ports for Ethernet cables to be plugged in for wired connections!
We are aiming for each household to have 50mbps of download capacity and 25mbps of upload capacity. That means everyone in the house can be in online video meetings at the same time without dropouts. While speeds will vary due to a variety of factors, Meta Mesh will try to make sure your connection as as fast and stable as possible.
After installation, Meta Mesh will provide you with an e-mail address and phone number to get in touch with us if you have questions or problems. We will also provide you with a general tech support number for questions that do not involve our equipment.
We want your input–if you have any specific questions about this pilot project, or simply want to know more about Meta Mesh, our programs, and our partnerships, please contact us!
We have been able to make this dream project a reality through a collaborative and cross-sectional effort from Higher Education Institutions, Digital Inclusion Organizations, and Community Groups. With gratitude, we thank the following groups for the tremendous part they have played in this project:
Carnegie Mellon University: A team of collaborators from CMU’s School of Computer Science and the Simon Initiative have coordinated the project connections to CMU and Pitt, provided critical start-up funding for the project and liaise to key stakeholders and community groups. They offer ongoing project design, implementation, and fundraising support.
University of Pittsburgh: Pitt IT, the CIO Office, and Community & Governmental Relations are Key Stakeholders and Integral Collaborators contributing facility access and funding to enable use of the Cathedral of Learning as the “Super Node/hub.” They will support stakeholder and community involvement in additional neighborhoods following the pilot.
The Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER): KINBER is a vendor partner to both CMU and Pitt, and will provide our gateway to the Internet through PennREN Fiber, which will be broadcast from the Cathedral of Learning.
Participating School Districts and Community Groups: The New Kensington-Arnold school district and Cornell (Coraopolis) school district, as well as the Homewood Children’s Village are collaborators in this pilot project. They bring vital expertise, leading the effort to build community buy-in, leveraging social capital to facilitate the creation of WISP infrastructure, and identifying households in need of Internet connectivity. They also advise CMU, Pitt, and Meta Mesh on community need and intentional partnership practices.
Because wireless radios require line-of-sight between transmitter and receiver, not every home may be able to connect. Below are the estimated coverage maps that Meta Mesh uses to determine if a house can receive signal from one of our towers.
- Green: High probability of coverage
- Yellow: Possibility of coverage (needs resident participation to confirm). Yellow areas require more information to find out if they can get service. Images taken from the house (pointed toward the tower location) will be needed to see if the signal can reach the location. Images will be taken from the exterior of the house. We are exploring the most efficient ways to help people in the yellow areas assess their homes’ connectivity potential quickly and easily. We will share updates on this process, and we invite those who are in a yellow (or even green!) area to reach out to us to learn more.
- Red: Confirmed no coverage area. If your home is within the Red coverage area, it is unlikely that service will reach your home in this first phase of the project. But, if you sign up, we may be able to reach your home in a later phase of the program.
- Boundary: Limit of WiFi service area ends at the edge of the map image. If your home is near or on the boundary, please submit your information to determine if service reaches the location.
Click the images below to view a high-resolution version of the map.