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Mesh Wi-Fi Networks

Integrating ultrafast broadband and wireless networks.

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Mesh Networks

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Opportunity

Wi-Fi networks are an effective way to supplement fiber-to-the-home by providing Internet access to underserved areas and populations. Strategic use of Wi-Fi networks in targeted business locations support entrepreneurial development, tourism and other economic development objectives. A mesh Wi-Fi network would connect homes, businesses and community facilities to the Internet using radio nodes, mesh routers and gateways — a cost-effective solution that can provide both mobile and fixed access points.

Action Steps:

MBIT & KC Digital Drive recommend concerted efforts to develop pilot wireless networks in specific neighborhoods. Some options include:

  • Along emerging transit corridors (using both transit facilities and buses)
  • In low-income, underserved neighborhoods
  • In business and technology districts (e.g., the Crossroads and West Bottoms in Kansas City, Mo., and Rainbow Blvd. and downtown Kansas City, Kan.)

The leadership network should identify a company or organization to take the lead in developing a pilot Wi-Fi network. Costs could be underwritten by advertising on a splash screen users see when logging on to the network, or incorporated into development agreements.

Benefits & Outcomes

  • Provide Internet access to those who cannot afford a wired in-home connection.
  • Serve as a focal point for small business development and entrepreneurial endeavors.

Projects in action

Partners