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The Haiti Rural Broadband Connectivity Program

Hey, the craigslist charitable fund and I are helping build networks in a number of places to help give the voiceless a voice, that is, to give people a break. A lot of this is with Inveneo, a team in SF who's really good at getting serious bandwidth where's that's hard to do, like in Kenya, the West Bank, and in Haiti. This complements related help with networking at the Tenderloin Technology Center, the SF Veterans Resource Center, and the Student Vets' Lounge at the City College of SF. (In my nerdly way, this is all part of the same thing.)

Haiti update:

We have made great progress in all key areas of the Haiti Rural Broadband Connectivity Program. This network is reaching most of Haiti (that is, the coverage is very broad outside of the capital region). Our goals are to reach six regions and twenty-two population centers.
  • Network Buildout/Infrastructure
    • Backbone of long-distance wireless network in Zone 1 nearly complete; Zones 2-3 saw major progress – 22 new tower sites and 89 radios, covering 12 of the target 22 communes across the country
    • 3 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) providing connectivity to the network
    • 70 strong client-subscriber leads in two regions
  • Entrepreneur Training (BATI Program¬†-¬†http://www.inveneo.org/newsfeed/haiti-bati-program)
    • Total of 27 BATI have been trained, 39 candidates in the pipeline.
    • 2 "meet and greet" meetings introducing BATI to ISPs
  • Haiti Connected Schools
    • Formal partnership with Microsoft, HP and World Vision established to deliver 40 ICT labs in rural schools across 6 regions.
    • 10 schools identified for computer lab deployment.
    • First training of trainers session scheduled for school teachers/administrators
  • Monitoring & Evaluation
    • Work with M&E experts Mission Measurement to help gauge the economic and social impact of this work in Haiti.
  • Network Governance
    • In the process of developing an independent entity to own and manage the network after Inveneo leaves the country.

2 Responses »

2 Responses to The Haiti Rural Broadband Connectivity Program

Evert Bopp says:

Craig,

Didn't know that you were involved with this effort but well done!
This is a great effort and addresses an urgent need. I have been doing something similar but on a much smaller scale via my own organisation (www.haiti-connect.org).
In some places we are working with the local ISP's who use the backbone network built under the scheme mentioned above. We arrange the connection for whichever location we need it in, pay for it and build out the local network.
One of the main issues is (and this is not really being addressed) is that even with the new network being build by Inveneo is that the connection costs as well as the subscription costs are very high especially for Haitian organisations. Average subscription fee is $200 – $500 p/m for a 1mb shared line.
I think that the next step should be is to bring down the costs and hopefully the economy of scale will have this effect.
However I have some ideas about this and would be very interested in discussing these with you if you're interested.