Internet Lite – the digital child of the Non-discriminating access for Digital Inclusion (DigI), is a three-year innovation project, funded by The Research Council of Norway and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Read more about the DigI project and Basic Internet Foundation at our website.
Lessons learned from our work in Tanzania, Ghana, DRC and other places is that “Internet Lite for All” can best be brought forward if combined with other business. We recommend to establish at least one information spot per village (or society), and eventually share the information to different locations. We currently enable people to bring their own device (BYOD), and in addition support everyone through locally available tablets.
Reason is that it is easier for people to address the hassle of digital when there is an imminent need, or when the place where they meet is equipped with an information spot. Through empowering everyone in the society, the information spot will provide both measures of digital literacy, as well as business opportunities for mobile operators to deploy mobile broadband in the area.
Low-cost Equipment for Internet Lite
In phase A of the DigI project, we identified in Tanzania the villages Esilalei, Izazi, and Migoli to roll-out the low-cost network for “Internet light for all” network in three villages Esilalei, Izazi, and Migoli. The overall set-up is in place, and we currently adapt the specific configuration for each village. As an example, in Migoli we will connect a school, a market and the health spot, while in Izazi we connect the administrative building and the bus stop.
The various solutions, including cost calculations, are available at BasicInternet.no/Solutions. All required equipment for the installation in these villages is currently configured at Basic Internet Headquarters at Kjeller.
Each village is served by a society server, which contains specific health information, as well as societal and village information. The information is provided through hot-spots at dedicated locations (see picture for Izazi), and is freely available for everyone in the society. In addition, a local network control centre (LNCC) ensures the free access to information on the Internet. Additional hot-spots are served through wireless distribution, using a sector antenna and a local hot-spot. The infrastructure is optimised both with respect to costs, and to power consumption. As an example, each local hot-spot consumes only 18 W, and costs roughly 120 €. Read more about the equipment here.
Digital Empowerment for everyone
Prime Minister Erna Solberg has announced health for mothers and children as the basis for a development of the individual. She further pointed out that the basic needs as food and health create the capability to perceive education. According to Abraham Maslow, who created the pyramid of needs (see figure), each level has to be reached before a new level will be approached.
Given the power of digital information, it is obvious that everyone needs to be included. The concepts of information spots with “Internet lite for all” will provide essential knowledge on health, agriculture and empower the individual.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg points out that we can contribute with creativity and new innovative solutions, which is exactly what we perform through the DigI.BasicInternet.no project.