Indian Villagers Pedal Wireless

from the unwiring-a-village dept

Wired has an article about an interesting project going on in some Indian villages, where men are being equipped with a bicycle and a mobile phone to ride around and let people make phone calls. It’s a part of a bigger program that seems pretty well thought out (though, there are still some questions about how well it will work out). It’s a three-part plan that is designed to both bring needed communications and transportation infrastructure to isolated villages while also providing people with jobs. The three parts of the plan are (1) a truck (with driver) which the villagers can use to deliver their produce to central locations or cities. Next, (2) there will be internet kiosks, which the farmers can use to get information on which markets are the best place to send their goods, and (3) the mobile phones on bicycles, which the farmers can use to call the truck to make appointments (or to make other appointments). And, of course, villagers themselves will operate all three parts of the system giving each of them jobs. It will be very interesting to see a followup story in a year or two to see how these systems have worked out. It seems much more well thought out that some previous, similar plans, but there could still be plenty of problems.

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