This week I write in FEER about Wi-Fi for the masses. Here’s a sneak peek:
In corners of Asia, away from the bustling business districts, a loose array of activists, entrepreneurs and former dotcommers is cobbling together ad-hoc Wi-Fi networks using whatever suits the environment, from bicycles and sonar panels to power computers, to motorbikes, buses, bullock carts and bicycles, to carry connections where such means are cheaper than installing the infrastructure needed for a network that’s always connected. What they offer villages and poorer urban neighbourhoods are connections to the Internet, to local government, to expert medical assistance, to market prices, to relatives overseas, or just a cheap phone call to a neighbouring village cut off by monsoon rains. Consider it a technological leapfrog without wires.
Full text at the Far Eastern Economic Review (subscription required, trial available). I’ll be posting updates on the projects I mention in the story on the blog.