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Innovative Tools: Live Bicycle Radio

Via Juliana Rincon we learn about a special bicycle in operation in Caquetá, Colombia:

“It seats two and carries with it a complete radio broadcasting system, able to send out Wi-max signals and be heard not only through the Andaquí Community Radio, but live through Internet as well“.

Radiocicleta [ES] is a community communication project which is breaking down the walls between the studio and the town itself:

“It is sustainable, it is cheap to maintain, it is environmentally sound, it is human instead of fuel powered, it allows for innovation and investigation, it can reach many different places and can be brought inside homes and it brings people together, working as members of a team,” Juliana says.

Affordable internet kiosk with mobile internet

Bangladesh has a population of more than 140 million. Its tele-density was very low only a decade ago because of the inadequate land phone infrastructure (it did not have penetration in rural areas). But thanks to the growth of the mobile phone companies now the number of mobile phone users has risen to 32 millions in a few years and the coverage is across the country even in the remotest of places. The growth rate of the cell phone industry is close to 25% which is remarkable.

In a country where the internet users are less than 1% (only a million) these mobile networks have brought an excellent opportunity for the nation to be connected to the internet which would not be possible with the current network of traditional landphones or expensive dsl cable connections. Some of the operators even support EDGE technology which offers data transfer speeds of up to 128 kb/s.

Using this mobile internet facility people in rural Bangladesh are building telecenters or internet cafés for use of mass people. From this website we learn that the technology required for such internet kiosks is very simple:

“There's only one PC, which functions as a server: each of the other workstations is powered by a small device, not much bigger than a cigarette packet. For another, there's no wired connection between the server and the outside world. The clue to how it's done is provided by a Motorola clamshell mobile phone connected by a USB cable to the server. The Centre is getting its Internet connection via an Edge-enabled mobile phone!”

Using Ndiyo-type thin-client networking in combination with Open Source software dramatically reduces the Total Cost of Ownership of Internet cafes, networked classrooms and small office systems. In the process, it makes it possible for entrepreneurs like Abu Sufian, the proprietor of the Fultola CIC, to make investments which earn revenues for them by providing services to local people and organizations.”

I believe these successes of innovative technologies based on internet can be replicated in all developing countries in the world.

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