High speed Internet access has changed the world immeasurably. A dazzling array of divides have been bridged – from educational and political to cultural and linguistic. Some gaps have not been narrowed, however, and some have been widened. This is particularly true for rural communities in developing countries, where building Internet infrastructures is not economically attractive due to the high cost of reaching users with low purchasing power.
AirJaldi is a social enterprise established in Dharamsala, India with aim of narrowing these gaps. Early in 2005, following the deregulation for outdoor use of WiFi in India , we began our work by helping to create the Dharamsala Community Wireless-Mesh Network in cooperation with the Tibetan Technology Center.
Our work centers on:
We are happy to announce that registration for a new Wireless 108 course is now open. The four-week course (June 20 - July 15) will be delivered out at our premises in Upper TCV, Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. The overall course cost will be Rs. 5,000, which will cover tuition and study materials. Travel, accommodation and food are the participants' responsibility (we will be happy to advise on possible accomodation in the area).
The cold wave in North India announced itself in Dharamsala with a bitterly cold snow storm in Mid January. Waking up to the sleek white surroundings would usually give the sense of pure tranquillity, which regardless of climate is not usually hard to find in Dharamsala. However it was not long before the impact of the snow had its effect on everyday necessities. Roads were snowed in, electricity down and thus internet barely available across the network.
Throughout the week of the snowstorm the AirJaldi team worked overtime, getting the Dharamsala network back on track. The sheer weight of the snow had disabled cables, they had to be rewired. Naturally water is not good for radio signals, thus towers were climbed and antennas wiped of snow.
A new Wireless 108 course will be opening on Monday, February 7. the four-week course (February 7 - March 4) will be carried out at our premises in Upper TCV, near Dal Lake, upper Dharamsala. The overall course cost will be Rs. 5,000, which will cover tuition and study materials. Travel, accommodation and food are the participants' responsibility.
The course is open to anyone who speaks English (our instructor can speak Tibetan and Hindi, but the materials and language used in the course will be English), has an interest in computers and is willing to put his/her head and hands to work.
While some seats are reserved, a few places are still available. If you are interested in attending the course, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org. It would greatly help us if you give us some details about yourself - in particular your background in computers (if any) and reasons for wanting to join the course.
We look forward to hearing from you!
As many of you know, we at AirJaldi take pride in our tight collaboration with academia and leading research institutes, chief among which is the UC-Berkeley's TIER group. These collaborations have proved instrumental in keeping the technical edge and allowed AirJaldi to continuously improve our own and others' understanding of rural networking.
The AirJaldi Network Academy’s new offering – Wireless 108 – is on at the AirJaldi premises in Upper TCV. The four week course, delivered by Tenzin Yonten, is AirJaldi’s new offering. Wireless 108 is our basic wireless course, which is aimed at anyone who has basic computer knowledge, good knowledge of English, interest in the field and willingness to put one’s hands and head to work.
The course is designed to cover the basics of computers (hardware and software) and networking (wired and wireless). At the end of the course, participants are able to carry out basic PC troubleshooting, create a simple server-based network and connect computers to it via wired and wireless interfaces.
In it, Mr. Behar concludes that “After 5 years [of developing a digital learning resource library and supporting schools who made use of it], when we took stock at a fundamental level, we realized that the whole thing was at best a qualified failure.”
Having read it with great interest, and being involved with activities in the derided ICT4D field, I thought of sharing my own thoughts on this thougtful and provoking piece.