Meta Mesh receives $ 1.4 million to expand free internet access in southwestern Pennsylvania

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On Monday, non-profit wireless internet service provider Meta Mesh Wireless Communications (MMWC) announced that it had received $ 1.4 million in financial commitments to expand its operations.

MMWC is receiving $ 1.13 million from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation for its wireless Internet service initiative, Every1online, which provides Internet access to communities in need in southwestern Pennsylvania. The organization also received contributions from the Richard King Mellon Foundation ($ 250,000) and the Hopper Dean Foundation ($ 51,125).

The organization said it will begin expanding its pilot programs in New Kensington and Wilkinsburg and further expand the Every1online network to at least 11 communities in and around Allegheny County over the next year. Communities will be determined based on level of need, the MMWC said.

Every1online has connected more than 100 people in Homewood and Coraopolis to public hotspots and free in-home Wi-Fi, the company said. The additional funding commitment illustrates regional support for bridging the digital divide across the greater Pittsburgh area, the organization said.

Internet access is no longer a luxury,” said Samantha Garfinkel, executive director of MMWC. “Excessive costs or a glaring lack of reliable Wi-Fi are preventing too many families from accessing essential services and fully participating in education and other aspects of modern life. Our organization helps anchor community institutions reach underserved households and improve the quality of life of participants, whether they are libraries offering basic connectivity for all or previously unconnected households to which access. is now guaranteed by a local school district.

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