Case Study: Nepal Wireless Networking Project
The Nepal Wireless Networking Project serves as an excellent example of how a community-based project can be implemented with few resources, but through a display of local leadership and vision was able to challenge existing policy frameworks to allow for the use of innovative technologies to provide ICT access to poor communities. The project illustrates how low-cost and easy-to-maintain wireless networks can be used in harsh and remote locations to provide telephone and internet access to dispersed communities. Under local leadership and with strong community support, local communities are able to provide much-needed communications services as well as other types of services that are run as small businesses (communication centres) or as community services (telemedicine, school networks). Strong local capacity building efforts in ICTs have resulted in the development of a cadre of local experts who can provide technical assistance. In addition, the advocacy efforts of the local champion, Mahabir Pun, resulted in the government changing its restrictive telecoms policies that previously prohibited the use of wireless networks, while also dropping the costs of licences to under USD 2.
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