Connecting the Underserved - Internet Access for Rural Communities in the Niger Delta

The Media Awareness and Justice Initiative (MAJI) implemented a citizen science-based project that used last mile network Infrastructure to set up and install Community Networks (CN) using community-oriented strategies. The installation of the last mile infrastructure is aimed at providing self-sustaining and affordable internet access to rural and urban poor communities in Rivers state. This proposed project builds on the successful initial ‘seed support’ for proof of concept supported by APC LocNet and OCF Taiwan, which provided finances, technical support for installation, capacity building and the initial set of air quality sensing devices. 

Using a wireless mesh platform and a community-oriented management and distribution architecture, the project has deployed 4 community WIFI networks and access points with a radius spread of 2-5km, and covering a minimum of over 200 users per community. The technical power supply set up for the Community network is hinge both the existing national power grid (which is epileptic) and solar based systems (which is more stable and reliable). A Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) or Mobile Network Operator (MNO) link will be connected to a point-to-Point WIFI mesh/zone network. A local Server will be setup for network administration, content storage, download and upload. This will be connected to the WIFI access points which will enable connected community people and users to access information contents. It is important to note that this infrastructure will provide the an interactive and sustainable community owned digital infrastructure that can support low cost solutions for community led climate adaption, awareness building and economic empowerment of rural dwellers. 

The project is focused on building achieving the following key overall objectives 

a)    Increasing the number of communities with access to digital infrastructures which will increase internet access to rural communities, open up new channels of economic empowerment, and increase community awareness. 

b)    The project is also looked to increase the capacity of rural communities at risk to adapt to the impacts of climate change using easy to use, low-cost climate SMART technologies which will leverage on the WIFI network installed in these communities. 

In line with our mission to provide rural communities with the needed capacity to use technology and its related tools for increased inclusion, the Media Awarenes and Justice Initiative developed a research document that provides practical outlines on how to deploy a sustainable Community Network for rural communities across Africa. See below to download report. 

 

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Connecting the Underserved - Documenting practical CN approaches 11.33 MB