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Green WiFi To Launch Solar WiFi In India

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Green Wi-Fi, a non-profit organization that aims to bring Internet access to schools in developing countries via cheap, solar-powered Wi-Fi networks, plans to start its first full-scale pilot project in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh at the end of the summer, reports Green Wi-Fi will be doing the India project for a Canadian aid organization that has asked for Wi-Fi in three schools in the northern Indian state where electricity is unreliable. One of these schools has a cable connection.

The concept behind Green Wi-Fi’s technology is to have a battery-powered router — charged by a solar panel — in each node in its Wi-Fi network. The nodes are mounted on rooftops and the network’s Wi-Fi signals are transferred over a grid using a wireless network standard known as 802.11b/g.

The company has received seed money from Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child Initiative (OLPC) that, interestingly, was recently rejected by the Indian government for being “pedagogically suspect.” According to Kaumudi, an Indian newspaper, the country’s education secretary Sudeep Banerjee said that giving schoolchildren a laptop each could harm their creative thinking and analytical abilities.

Green Wi-Fi doesn’t seem to have heard this particular take on the OLPC initiative. “We’ve heard that the strongest criticism they (OLPC) get when they evangelize their laptop is ‘What do you do about the network?’ If you have a computer but no Internet, you can play games and do spreadsheets, but accessing the world’s information is really where the value is,” co-founder Marc Pomerlau told We wonder what Banerjee will say about schoolchildren being given Internet access.

5 Responses to “Green WiFi To Launch Solar WiFi In India”

  1. I checked out Green Wi-fi and they seem like a completely kosher organization. I do agree that there is potential to use technology for nefarious purposes, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

    The decision to ban Negroponte’s project is mindblowingly stupid. I’ve seen his presentations and I think this would be great for India or any developing country…

    I wonder what the real reason is? Pure conjecture here, but maybe
    1. The BJP had expressed interest in it, so the Congress therefore must decline
    2. Maybe Microsoft, whose Bill Gates has strongly ridiculed the project, has lobbyists in India working hard to nix the project?

  2. … while i support a free internet initiative, i am rather suspect of Western/Christian Organisations, under the guise of providing Technology to those that cannot otherwise obtain it, infiltrating the young minds of Indian children. The Indian Govt’ should stop this and take over, with a program of providing free internet to its people, on their own.