An Afrik-ITer wrote to me privately:
> As an old-time radio amateur, not presently active, I see that
> this could be a low-cost and practical solution. Look at the cost
> of CB transceivers, you don't even need a modem, just use frequency
> shift on the async port.
You'll lose me quick if you get too technical... 8*)
I seek data communications solutions that are manageable by small
organizations and individuals, that don't require much technical
expertise, and that can exist in an environment where access to
technical support is problematic.
Example: Central African rainforest, off the beaten track, no public
electricity, but a generator (or solar for some months of the year
(it's cloudy for weeks at a time in the rainy season) linked via
packet radio to the nearest town, perhaps 250 kilometers. From that
town, messages are gated to a system that uses phone lines to link to
the national capital. From the capital to the Internet.
We could develop some technical expertise in the small town, perhaps
someone to run a private email business linking dozens of remote
sites by radio, plus other sites by phone. At our camp in the
forest, you'll be dealing with nice but technically illiterate
environmental scientists. At other remote sites, you might be
dealing with a secondary school headmaster, or a hospital clinic
employee. USAID's Leland Initiative might be interested in these
school and medical sites. I'm more directly interested in the
environmental scientists for now.
How would you do it? The 64 million dollar question...
AfricaLink -- http://www.info.usaid.gov/alnk