Mesh/San Francisco

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Mesh Projects in San Francisco


We're building a mesh network called Derpanet!

Mesh nodes are solar-powered, wireless devices which you can put on your roof and forget. Right now we're looking for spots to put them.

As of right now, we don't have nodes anywhere useful - useful would be, has line of sight from the roof of my house in the Glen Park/Noe Valley/Bernal Heights Demilitarized Zone. Jasmine Strong modulararithmetic @

Historical Community/Mesh Wireless in SF

Various attempts at SF community wireless have largely failed or lapsed over the years. A semi-detailed history is available on this Wikipedia article and summarized below:

  • Free The Net - Meraki, a commercial mesh networking service and hardware manufacturer, experimented with a free network briefly in SF between 2008-2009 and was acquired by Cisco in 2012.
  • SF Lan - Out of the Internet Archive, began in 2007 with a 50-node experimental network but petered down to 4 nodes by the end of the year. Wikipedia states that "noise level in the ISM bands due to proliferating and competing Wi-Fi signals made many of their long-distance links (several miles) nonfunctional". They were outcompeted in 2010 with the launch of MonkeyBrains, a local ISP that piloted in SF with a free service to residents. The network, though dormant, may soon be revitalized and is considering a munipal fiber and wireless hybrid model.

The City whipsawed by corporate powers, SFLan ending their experiment, and Meraki's "Free the Net" on hold all provided MonkeyBrains with the motivation to start their 2010 free wifi in the Mission. By the End of 2010, MonkeyBrains exceeded 120Mbit/s of download and 50Mbit/s upload in their wireless pilot.19