Mfangano Island now has a 1Mbps Internet connection. For those of you reading this over a high-speed cable, DSL, or fiber connection in a developed country this may not sound terribly impressive. However, when you consider the four major challenges we had to overcome to bring this meg of data to a remote island nestled at the mouth of Winam Gulf in Lake Victoria, you might think again as to the level of this accomplishment.
A small local NGO that had never before worked in the telecom space had to figure out how to design and build a tower that could be welded by local craftsmen to tight technical specifications. The tower they built supports one end of a 90km wireless link (60% of which is over water), pushing the limits of long-distance WiFi’s capabilities. The whole operation is powered by a hybrid solar/wind electrical system, because no other power is available at the tower site.
Finally, every single piece of equipment required to put this all together had to be ferried to the island in a small wooden boat and hand carried up a grueling two hour hike.
More on the inveneo.org site.