Darknet Seminar report
This paper outlines a migration path towards universal broadband connectivity, motivated by the design of a wireless store-and-forward communications network.
We argue that the cost of real-time, circuit-switched communications is sufficiently high that it may not be the appropriate starting point for rural connectivity. Based on market data for information and communication technology (ICT) services in rural India, we propose a combination of wireless technology with an asynchronous mode of communications to offer a means of introducing ICTs with:
• affordability and practicality for end users;
• a sustainable cost structure for operators and investors;
• a smooth migration path to universal broadband connectivity.
A summary of results and data are given for an operational pilot test of this wireless network in Karnataka, India, beginning in March 2003.
DakNet, an ad hoc network that uses wireless technology to provide asynchronous digital connectivity, is evidence that the marriage of wireless and asynchronous service may indeed be that kernel -the beginning of a road to universal broadband connectivity. Developed by MIT Media Lab researchers, DakNet has been successfully deployed in remote parts of both India and Cambodia at a cost two orders of magnitude less than that of traditional landline solutions. Villagers now get affordable Internet services-and they’re using them. As one man in a small village outside of New Delhi remarked, “This is better than a telephone!”
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