PittMesh's main purpose is to bridge the Digital Divide. In our own city of Pittsburgh, nearly 23% of people do not have access to the Internet. But in today’s society, it is essential to have access to the web in order to file for public benefits, apply for jobs, and even turn in homework! Consequently, reliable Internet access is no longer a luxury – it is a necessity and a right. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that all Pittsburghers have ubiquitous Internet access without having to go out of their way to get it.
We help provide open public WiFi via the PittMesh Community Wireless Network using a two-fold method:
Building and supplying preconfigured WiFi devices to be used in business districts, private residents, and developing neighborhoods.
Making Community Wireless Networks so simple that almost any non-technical person can build, maintain, and expand them. We provide educational classes, documentation, and instructions so local residents can install, maintain, and troubleshoot its own Community Wireless Network. Every grant that we write includes a number of classes hosted by Meta Mesh and tailored to individual community on a multitude of topics such as WiFi basics, mesh networks, network maintenance, and getting the most out of the Community Wireless Network. These classes are youth-friendly, provide resume-building technological and community-building skills.
We are a non-profit organization that builds Community Wireless Networks using mesh networking technology in Pittsburgh – all of which are part of the broader “PittMesh” network. These local Community Wireless Networks can provide communities with a free public WiFi – but that’s just the beginning! We work with neighborhoods to expand, understand, and utilize the PittMesh Community Wireless Network as well as sell pre-configured hardware and write grants to support local groups to build their own networks.