3.3.1.3 Infrastructure

At this point, this toolkit has focused on two aspects: (1) the creation and sharing of community infrastructure and (2) the establishment of connectivity infrastructure in more populous locations or bases, from where wireless communication can be deployed.

With respect to the first aspect, it is important to consider that many remote areas lack basic infrastructure, such as electricity. This problem in itself determines some of the characteristics of the equipment that is to be used. There is also the need to share the prevailing infrastructure with other users. So it is important for digital telecenters to utilize and also strengthen existing infrastructure. Because of this aspect, sometimes it is convenient to install digital centers in schools or other pre-existing media centers in the community, such as community radio stations or post offices, assuming care is been taken to ensure collective access to these centers.

Regarding the second aspect, it is important to consider that it is difficult and uneconomical to have access to fiber optics in all locations. However, if fiber nodes are available in nearby cities, it is easier to provide wireless broadband connections from those points to surrounding communities. Such solutions have proven to be an excellent path to the development of broadband connections to remote locations. Examples of this type of solution are found in India, where each taluka (county) avails itself of broadband connections with wireless coverage in order of 20 or 30 km radius.7
 

7 See Jhunjhunwala, N-Logue: the story of a rural service provider in India, The Journal of Community Informatics, (2004), Vol. 1, Issue 1, pp. 30-38