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Saturday, 1 September 2007

Wireless Villages? 2nd Edition

LinkNet Zambia Cooperative Society is yet another example of an organisation that is working to bring ICT to rural areas in a cost effective way. LinkNet's stated vision:

For areas that have no communications infrastructure, LinkNet will improve the future of rural areas in Zambia by providing telecommunications with internet. The key idea is simple, take sea containers normally used for shipping goods, fill them with necessary technology, place them in a rural area and then using wireless technologies to connect them to the internet. VSAT is the technology used, meaning Very Small Aperture Terminal which is an earthbound station that communicates with a satellite. This simple solution bypasses the need for massive (and longterm) investments in copper wires or glass fibres in the ground, and does not need mobile phone masts. LinkNet plans to take initially small but feasible steps, and then subsequently larger steps. LinkNet has already rolled out its first ‘proof of concept’ technologies in rural Macha, in the Southern Province of Zambia.

The rollout of the LinkNet concept will offer rural Zambians a chance to communicate outside their own villages, provide new employment possibilities for villagers, support rural institutions in their communications needs such as schools, hospitals and churches, and support schoolchildren who cannot afford schoolbooks in their education by offering them access to the internet.
You can read more about their masterplan here. I am particularly fond of their work on e-health. Incidentally, Brenda Zulu has a fascinating piece on her blog on the challenges of delivering e-health.


  1. Pan-Africa E-Network:

  2. Mobile health:


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