An oasis of connectivity in rural Kenya

ENTASOPIA, Kenya: The road from Nairobi winds 160 kilometers to this town deep in Masai country, the asphalt giving way to sand and dust, until finally it is just a dirt track climbing over broken hills and plunging back to desert flats. The going is slow.

The outpost, with about 4,000 inhabitants, is at the end of that road and beyond the reach of power lines. It has no bank, no post office, few cars and little infrastructure. Newspapers arrive in a bundle every three or four weeks. At night, most people light kerosene lamps and candles in their houses or fires in their huts and go to bed early, except for the farmers guarding crops against elephants and buffalo.

Entasopia, a sudden oasis fed by a few mountain springs, is the last place on earth that a traveler would expect to find an Internet connection. Yet it was here, in November, that three young aerospace engineers from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, with financial backing from Google, installed a small satellite dish powered by a solar panel, to hook up a handful of computers in the community center to the rest of the world.

More at International Herald and Tribune

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