WiFi is commonplace in today’s large, booming cities. You can probably find a few hotspots walking around on any street. However, for rural areas, especially in undeveloped nations, WiFi and any other kinds of internet access are hard to come by.
Intel is trying to solve the problem with its Rural Connectivity Program (RCP). The company is utilizing a new technology consisting of a processor, software radios, and an antenna to enable wireless signals to travel up to 60 miles.
Wireless access is the way to go in these countries, as there are several problems with putting in wires. They are too expensive, too long for a good signal, and would often get dug up and sold.
So far, the RCP has been tested in India, Panama, Vietnam, and South Africa with successful results. “We’re seeing a lot of interest in the industry,” said Jeff Galinovsky, a senior platform manager at Intel. “Every time we talk about this, they say, ‘We need this yesterday’.”
This is a great program, and combined with efforts to make cheap laptops targeted at these countries will help them catch up to the information age. It will be great to see what the internet is like with so many more people with such different perspectives on board.