People who want to boost the Wi-Fi reception throughout their homes or offices have a new option to do so with mesh Wi-Fi, now offered by Custer Telephone Cooperative.

Mesh Wi-Fi is a good option for large houses where the Wi-Fi signal isn’t adequate throughout the entire home because of the location of the router, Custer Telephone Director of Broadband Ben Glenn said. Any Custer Telephone internet customer may upgrade to the mesh system, whether they receive their Wi-Fi signal via fiber optic lines or DSL.

“It doesn’t matter what platform they have in place,” he said.

Installing the mesh system is relatively simple, Glenn said. A Custer Telephone employee connects a mesh unit to the existing main router in a customer’s home. The new device works like a repeater, he said, amplifying the signal “so you get better reception everywhere in your home.”

“It’s an extension of your current wireless system,” he said. “It talks to your current router.”

A mesh system can improve the Wi-Fi signal in log homes, where the thick logs can sometimes block signals from a router, Glenn said. He installed a mesh system in a log home in Salmon for that very reason. The customer wasn’t able to use her smart TV because the Wi-Fi signal wasn’t strong enough in the room where that TV is located.

When customers call to order the new device, a cooperative employee evaluates the home and the reasons for the request.

“If it isn’t the best option for the customer, we recommend different solutions,” he said. “Every house is different.”

Customers are charged a $9 monthly fee for the mesh unit. Installation is free right now, Glenn said, but that may not be the case permanently.