We have raised only half the money we need for equipment, so this year we were only able to install three access points. An access point gets its internet via a fast wireless connection from the gateway using a non-mesh Ubiquiti NanoBeam router. Each of these is connected by a cable to a MetaMesh router that picks up the signal and brings it into the mesh, where subscribers can access it. The limited number of access points means that the area we now cover is limited. On top of that, some people in this area are already locked into high-priced contracts with other ISPs that they can’t get out of. That’s sad, because lots of neighborhood residents are on a limited budget and could benefit from reliable home internet at $15 a month (even less if you subscribe for a year) instead of the $40 a month or even much higher that the other ISPs charge. Internet access is like electricity used to be—it’s a necessary utility, especially now that many schools expect students to do homework online. High-priced internet access takes precious funds away from other household needs. There is no reason that our neighbors should have to pay exorbitant fees, sometimes for bundles that include services they don’t even want, when they could get internet that is suitable for most household purposes, like web browsing, Facebook, email, YouTube videos and movie watching, for less.
We may have difficulty finding the necessary number of subscribers we need this year to cover our bandwidth costs, but it’s absolutely crucial that the mesh stay alive through this initial period, because when those contracts start expiring, we want to be ready with open arms to offer our neighbors a much better deal! Help the mesh stay alive by making a donation at our website https://newportmesh.org at “Become a Mesh Patron”!