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About WasabiNet

WasabiNet is neighborhood-scale Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP), operating low-cost Wifi in the St. Louis area. Our mesh-based infrastructure permits for very low cost of operation and high adaptability, allowing us to grow precisely as customer demand reveals itself. Our niche centers on serving lower and middle income residents and small businesses who could not otherwise afford Broadband Internet, college-aged students, and individuals who move frequently.

WasabiNet is operated by Minerva Lopez and Benjamin West.

WasabiNet was founded by Ben and Minerva in 2008 as a proposal to the Incarnate Word Foundation for a community development grant focused on Benton Park West. The proposal was accepted, and $10,000 was awarded to begin deployment of a neighborhood-wide mesh network. Having grown to its current size since that time, WasabiNet has also been featured in media outlets such as PC Magazine, KSDK Channel 5, and the Riverfront Times. In addition, Ben was invited to present at the International Summit for Community Wireless Networks in Vienna in August 2010.

Ben leads a diverse career as an innovating technologist, including employment with local startups designing on terabit capacity network routing, home automation for the physically disabled, to innovative video gaming technology, Drupal web application development, and finally Mesh wireless Internet service.  Ben's background also includes working in collaborative technology projects, including the Washington University radio station KWUR, the Community Arts and Movement Project (C.A.M.P.), and most recently with the low cost Mesh Wifi service WasabiNet.

Minerva is the former president of the Cherokee Station Business Association and proprietor of the Cherokee St. soccer apparel store, Gooolll. Minerva has a background in construction and environmental remediation, and she is a also tireless advocate for the local Hispanic community.  Besides being a a tireless community activist and advocate for Cherokee St., Minerva also organizes yearly festivals such as the Mexican Independence Day Festival and the Dia de Los Muertos observance.  She even starred in the 2012 Shakespeare in the Park festival in Gravois Park.

Here are some examples of other communities using Mesh Node Wifi:

Finally, here is a more detailed explanation of how WasabiNet works.