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Our mission is to help public and private organizations in developing nations bridge the digital divide by providing affordable, scalable communications infrastructure and by building internal capacity in wireless networking. We are working towards a world much like what Allen Hammond and C.K. Prahalad have envisioned in their paper "Serving the World's Poor, Profitably":
Driven by private investment and widespread entrepreneurial activity, the economies of developing regions grow vigorously, creating jobs and wealth and bringing hundreds of millions of new consumers into the global marketplace. China, India, Brazil, and, gradually, South Africa become new engines of global economic growth, promoting prosperity around the world. The resulting decrease in poverty produces a range of social benefits, helping to stabilize many developing regions and reduce civil and cross-border conflicts. The threat of terrorism and war recedes. Multinational companies expand rapidly in an era of intense innovation and competition.
To learn more about our vision for WiFi in developing nations, you can read "DakNet: Rethinking Connectivity in Developing Nations", a paper published in IEEE Computer Outlook, Jan 2004 (450KB Adode Acrobat .pdf).
To see an example of how and where we work, you can view photos from one of our project implementations in rural Cambodia.
Sustainability is critical to the success of any network, and we can help by reducing the costs required to provide communications to underserviced areas. As you move further away from existing backbone communications infrastructure, the costs of connectivity increase rapidly while population density and income per capita (together, money per sq. km.) tend to decrease rapidly. These two factors are the reason why telcos and ISPs have not been able to cost-effectively provide communications to the first mile.
Our approach of leveraging existing communication backbones to provide real-time connectivity and transportation infrastructure to provide store-and-forward connectivity offers a way to cost-effectively service rural communities. Analyses indicate that our technology can lower infrastructure costs to under $1 per user, as compared to over $1,000 per user for fiber and over $600 per user for cellular. Our technology enables local entrepreneurs to build commercial rural service providers according the following model.
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