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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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Monday, November 03, 2003

 

India: Bringing the Internet to rural villages with a mix of fiber and wireless

"Incorporated by the TeNET group, n-Logue focuses on providing and operating telecom and Internet services only in small towns and rural areas of India."

"For Rs 50,000, a kiosk can be set up in any village that will have a PC, telephone, Internet, Webcam, printer and a power back up. 'Most of the time we see that people put Rs 10,000-15,000 of their own and take the rest as loans from banks,' says Professor Jhunjhunwala. To earn profits, every kiosk owner needs to make just Rs 3500 per month or about Rs 3.50 per person a month in a village of 1000 people. Earning that kind of money is not very difficult." [45 rupees = $1.00 U.S.]

"For around Rs 50 a month, kiosk owners found children and adults joining to learn typing on the computer since they didn't have access to a typewriter otherwise. The Webcam was also being used to click photographs that could be printed and used in a number of forms that needed to be filled."

"The 'Vet on the Net' is another popular application where diseases to livestock like goats or chicken are treated via video conferencing. To save a trip to the nearest town to visit the vet, villagers were ready to pay for the service."

"Today, BSNL provides fibre connectivity up to most talukas (county headquarters). From there technologies like that developed by Midas, a company best known for its CorDECT WLL (Wireless in Local Loop) solution, can help cover 85 per cent of the villages from the talukas. CorDECT is an advanced wireless access system that helps bring connectivity to rural areas at one third the cost it would take otherwise."


The article goes on to describe the tangible impact n-Logue's network is having on healthcare in rural Indian villages.

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