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News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2003


India: Internet connectivity for villages without phones

A program is underway in India to provide villages with Internet connectivity using Wi-Fi combined with "store and forward" technology and the local rural bus system. Villagers prepare their messages at the village kiosk and they're stored until the Wi-Fi equipped bus drives by, at which time they're dumped to the bus and stored until the bus passes a landline-linked Wi-Fi hub and dumps them. The bus, without stopping, then picks up return messages for each of the villages on its' route.

With up to 48 hours latency and limited bandwidth, this system, DakNet, is hardly an attractive solution for U.S. towns, but as this article points out, it's making a big financial difference in the lives of the villagers, saving them $3 in bus fare and a day's lost wages riding a bus into the nearest government center to handle paperwork or get copies of land records.

(Thanks to Philipp Budka for pointing this out via his posting on the DIGITALDIVIDE mailing list)


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