Meta Mesh, a Pittsburgh startup, is hoping to bring free wireless broadband service to neighborhoods through its PittMesh network, which lets anyone join the network using consumer-grade, off-the-shelf Wi-Fi hardware.

The Wi-Fi access is provided by residents and businesses in a neighborhood that volunteer to host the necessary equipment. With enough hotspot nodes, PittMesh can set up a mesh router to expand the reach of the network and allow users to connect at speeds ranging from 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps.

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