Background & Concept
In developing countries, the wireless connectivity has been emerged as one of the inexpensive technologies to bridge the connectivity gap in remote areas. These wireless technologies have created much interest on the part of the international-development community. For example, in India, even with mobile penetration, the tele-density in rural areas are still less than 40 percent. The reason has mostly been the issues around last mile connectivity. On the other hand, last mile wireless connectivity has the potential to resolve the issue of prohibitive cost of deploying conventional wired infrastructure in remotest areas of the country. Internet penetration levels in rural areas are even worse.
The combination of poor rural tele-density and Internet penetration further widens the divide between the haves and the have-nots, and deploying traditional communications infrastructure may not be economically viable from both a service provider and subscriber point of view.
In order to address these issues, and connect remote and underserved regions,Internet Society (ISOC) & Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) initiated a joint project called “Wireless for Communities” (W4C) which utilises low-cost Wi-Fi based equipment to connect and empower rural and underserved communities.
The motivation for the W4C project by ISOC and DEF is twofold.
- Firstly, to totally democratize the availability of connectivity and enable Internet accessibility to information in rural parts of the country.
- Secondly to address the issue of lack of content product and services originating from rural areas which affects the economy from percolating to the bottom of the pyramid.
Key Factors of Wireless Community