People who know me personally know that I love the neighborhood that I’ve called home since 2006: Northern Liberties. People who know me professionally know that I love me some Meraki. Well those two worlds collided following an article for The Verge this week announcing that a startup company named Bamboowifi has brought free WiFi using Meraki’s wireless mesh technology to Liberty Lands Park in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia. I’ve been a fan of Meraki since 2011 when I read about their cloud-based approach to firewall and access point deployment, configuration and management. After attending several webinars it was easy to see that their simple and intuitive graphical interface was the wave of the future. (Cisco figured this out too and bought them in 2013 – I would have done the same if I had the 1.2 billion.) I quickly became a voracious proponent of the technology as we implemented it at the s2s HQ and began deploying it to our managed network customers. One of the great features of Meraki WiFi is its ability to create a self-healing mesh network so that the failure of any one access point does not mean that you lose connectivity to the internet. It also allows you to control maximum bandwidth per user and what Layer 7 applications any user is allowed to use. These two components together make sure that one person can’t hog the whole link while limiting legal liability by disallowing torrents using the Meraki built-in firewall. Maybe one day we’ll be able to grab coffee with the founders at nearby Higher Grounds to get more details about their company and how we can be a part of their journey!