Minneapolis's Wi-Fi provider made three great choices in the wake of the bridge disaster, Julio Ojeda-Zapata writes in the (St. Paul) Pioneer Press: The made it free, expanded it, and added full zoom/pan/tilt Web cameras.
Meraki gets a long, positive write-up in Scientific American: The magazine does a great job of hitting the high spots about why Meraki's idea of cheap, mesh routers that self-organize and can take multiple injection points without configuration have had such positive early impact. Most of their competitors are selling devices for 40 to 100 times as much as their $50 box, but those more expensive devices are designed to be more rugged, often work with public safety networks, feature radios with 10 to 35 times the raw signal power, and so forth. (Radios grow more expensive on a steeply climbing curve as you increase power output.) Meraki's raw cost? About $5 in components (chips and the radio); the rest is circuit boards, assembly, cases, and overhead.
The Mercury News notes that the Wireless Silicon Valley plan now has an anchor tenancy requirement of sorts: Another shoe drops. The Wireless Silicon Valley project was supposed to offer free access at a reasonable speed to all residents covered by the network, ultimately, and it was to be funded by the consortium building it, which includes Cisco and IBM. The free requirement is still in place, and the network builders are still putting out the initial sums. However, the reporter notes that there's been a rather significant shift: the cities covered "will be asked to pay to use the network, enabling police officers, firefighters and even housing inspectors to file reports on the go." That's no secret: It was clear from the beginning that there was the intent for cities to sign up. But it's clearly moved from the consortium encouraging cities to commit to contracts at some point to requiring cities to commit before the network is built. Which, by the way, is vastly behind schedule, and no model contract has yet been publicly seen.