Meraki FON

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Yesterday Martin Varsavsky posted an interesting article about Meraki , the Californian start-up in competition with Fon in Wifi business.

He pointed out the differences between the two projects , one devoted to build mesh wifi networks in competitions with ISP ( is that true ? ) and the other with user generated network , allied of ISPs which can add wifi extension for free.

Now , maybe this is true , but what the Fon community has always asked is more control on the routers. La fonera can be controlled remotely by FON , but should also be managed by users.

I want to tell you about my last fonera installation at the Montefiore residence in Pistoia province (italy) and what I had to do in the present time , and what could have done with more control on la Fonera.

The task was to cover a decent wide hotel with 18 rooms with wifi signal.

I picked up the dsl line in the tech closet where all the phone lines comes , passed 200 meters of cat5 Ethernet cable through fire alarm pipe , positioned one fonera at each floor . For the outdoor (garden and pool side) I used 2 foneras modified with open ssh access and custom init script to repeat the signal.

Now , if fonera was equipped with roofnet , what should I have done to make the job? Simply provide two ethernet ports one at the bottom of the building , another on top , and extend the coverage via mesh wireless.

I think that my needs could be found in other thousands of similar scenarios , I guess , large restaurants , medium size guest houses , youth hostels , bus stations , beaches and so on.

So adding mesh functionality to la fonera is not a change of policy but a plus that many many foneros will highly appreciate.

PS I shall need a fontenna asap 🙂

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