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Connecting villages with drive-by Wi-Fi
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Connecting villages with drive-by Wi-Fi

In the poorest countries, in the remotest locations, a physical web connection is pretty much an impossibility. Even the richest nations would pause and consider before laying cable through hundreds of miles of untamed wilderness, and poor nations simply do not have the resources for radio mast relays. Never the less, it is possible to bring the internet, or something fairly similar, to the most remote nomadic village in outer Mongolia.

The concept is actually an old one - it's the same concept as is used behind mobile libraries, and is, in essence, just a more high tech version of the same.

In the nearest city, or large town big enough to have an internet connection, a headquarters building sits. In it, are servers capable of storing vast quantities of web data - basically an ISP cache. The building has parking spaces for several busses, or other large, rugged vehicles, which can be backed into parking spaces and directly wired into the building's servers.

On each bus, another hefty array of fileservers, an expanded fuel tank, and a hefty power supply sits - the sheer weight necessitates the use of such a large vehicle. They park up at HQ, and their servers are filled with the latest cache from the internet - as much as they can hold of the most informative sites, all the information regularly desired.

When the transfer is complete, the busses move out. Each, like a regular bus, has a long route to travel, driving through remote villages, sometimes on the road for a couple of days, to complete their route.

Unlike a normal bus however, these do not actually stop at any of the villages they pass through, unless they require refuelling. Instead, they drive straight through at a fairly slow speed, the Wi-Fi transceivers on the bus, acting as a hot-spot array, downloading cached information to one or more servers in the village, usually in a central, secure location, which then, in turn, transmit to other PCs if any. On it's way out, after delivering information, the bus collects the village's cache of new input - emails, desired forum postings, electronic orders, that the walled garden 'internet' of the village main server has received since the last bus passed through, and stores it separately, for upload to the main internet, back at HQ.

When the bus moves on, there is no need to panic, another will be by later in the day, bringing another cache of information, and taking interactivity back out.

Companies offering such services are springing up, all over the developing world. The prices they charge, are far less than it would cost to lay cabling to all these villages, and local governments are often keen to pay.

Until a means of cabling the world at next to no cost is found, or third world countries fully develop, this is one way to connect nations, that is sure to grow and grow.

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