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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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Friday, April 09, 2004


Solomon Islands linked by narrowband radio e-mail

The BBC reports:
"A internet connection speed of 2 Kbps may not sound like much, but it is providing a lifeline for the people of the Solomon Islands. The struggling South Pacific nation has endured years of bloodshed, corruption and economic decline. But for the past four years, the People's First Network has tried to mend fences by using high frequency radio to send and receive e-mail.

The Solomon Islands consists of some 850 islands, mostly undeveloped, spread out over a wide area of the Pacific. The two main ways of getting in touch with people are short-wave radios or satellite telephones. But radio offers no privacy, whereas satellite phones are too expensive for most to use regularly.

At the moment that are 14 e-mail stations in schools or clinics in rural areas. The stations are owned by the community, with decisions taken by a committee of village chiefs and religious leaders.

Paul Goodison also has information on the project in his Broadband and Me blog.


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