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A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Inspiring story: How First Nations Kids Built Their Own Internet Infrastructure

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It’s very good to read about projects undertaken by a community to meet its own needs. Jordan Pearson reports in Motherboard:

Three years ago, the people living in the Ochiichagwe’Babigo’Ining Ojibway Nation in Ontario would crowd in each other’s homes and outside the band office to access what little internet the community had. There was dial-up, there was expensive cellular data, and there was some service from an internet provider in a neighboring town; when the network went down, it would sometimes take weeks for a technician to come and fix the issue.

The community’s kids—itching to get their gaming systems online and scroll through Facebook on their phones—weren’t having it. So Chad Henry, now 26, gathered a group of five other young people, some just teenagers, and formed a youth council with the mission of bringing high speed internet to their town. And they were going to do it themselves.

Within three months, Henry told me in an interview, the youth council had drafted a business plan, secured funding from the local band, and hired a contractor to build a telecommunications tower. They purchased bandwidth from a small provider, and beamed it from their tower and into the homes of anybody who wanted it—high speed, unlimited bandwidth, and relatively cheap; just $40 a month. That was in 2013.

Two years later, the First Nations community ISP run by teenagers and 20 somethings services 30 homes, and the project is far from finished.

“We want to expand it,” Henry told me. “Right now it’s limited within our community—we only have 60 houses—but there’s a lot of cottages along the Winnipeg River. We want to set up a tower on the south side of our community, to reach Myrtle Rapids and the rest of the cottages along the river.”

The original tower will be upgraded, too, Henry said. Next week, the service will double its speed from 10Mbps to 20Mbps. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

21 August 2015 at 8:46 am

Posted in Daily life, Technology

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