Fon and Meraki WiFi providers to interoperate?

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Fon and Meraki were once described as potential rivals. Both are providing wireless equipment to share a common broadband access within a community or a group, both are developing their activities based on open source firmwares, and above all, both plans to extend in the San Fransisco area. But the story could take another direction; in fact, Fon and Meraki might become partners.

Fon’s CEO Martin Varsavsky said its company is looking seriously into it. “The people who could really use Meraki are the Muni Wifi projects. FON is from the home to the street and Muni WiFi is from the street to the home. Both are highly complementary.” Broadening the range of WiFi signals would benefit the most to Fon’s Bills members, those who charge for their broadband access.

Cross-bridging both networks would make Sequoia Capital smile, adds Martin Varsavsky. The investment firm backs Fon and Meraki. But Google, which invested in both companies (for an unknown amount), would also be happy, except for one spot, San Fransisco, the area where the citywide wireless network it’s trying to deploy with Earthlink is still a work in progress.

Mar 20, 2007 | By Nuno

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