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South American Schools Get Satellite-Delivered Wi-Fi

Six hundred rural schools in Venezuela are gaining access to the Internet through a new Wi-Fi deployment designed to give teachers and students access to academic and teaching materials from around the world.

Funded by a rural broadband community fund and handled by Hong Kong-based Altai Technologies, the installations will use satellite transmission through very small aperture terminals (VSATs) as the backbone and Altai A2 combination access points and bridges at each site to provide wireless access indoors and outdoors at the schools.

In a research paper by Francisco Proenza from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, which has as a focus on rural development, the advantage of pursuing the VSAT approach is that it allows service providers to bypass the development of wire-line networks except where they're needed for connecting to the public switched telephone network. "VSAT is expensive relative to wired options in urban settings, but it is an economically viable option to serve rural communities sparsely settled in rugged terrain," he wrote.

"The patented Altai Super WiFi solution offers an ideal solution for wireless connectivity, especially in areas that are lacking infrastructure," said acting CEO Bill Wong. "Without complicated cable wiring and network configurations, the Wi-Fi network can be built in a couple of days. Our Super WiFi Solution enables service providers to quickly build a wireless broadband network with wide coverage at a much lower total project cost."

Many of the implementations done by the company have been in distributed settings, such as container ports, shopping malls, and airports.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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