Wireless for Communities to empower rural area through low cost wifi

By Arslan Ali on
November 23, 2015
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A memorandum of understanding amongst, the Internet Society (ISOC) and COMSATS Internet Services (CIS) has been signed in order to establish a pilot project in a rural community of Chak Faiz located near the city of Multan.

This project is a flagship wireless for community programme of Internet Society. As an initiative of Internet Society, this programme provides Internet access to under-served rural communities using a community empowerment approach through WiFi based technologies.

The project also includes training of the communities on the contents and services provided under the banner of different technologies.

The society has been implementing wireless for community program in the South Asian region for the past five years now. The programme has bagged two international awards, from ITU/MCMC and Public Affairs Asia, respectively.

The project will include:

  • Deployment of a wireless community network, coupled with training for the community.
  • There will be two phases of the project execution in order to facilitate the community to empower and harness the benefits of the Internet and subsequently, enabling itself to social insertion.

Rajnesh Singh, Director of the Asia-Pacific Bureau of the Internet Society stated – “The Internet is probably one of the greatest, and most transformational, inventions of humankind. We need to ensure that all communities, regardless of whether they are located in rural or urban areas, are able to fully benefit from the Internet and all that it can enable. With this pilot project in Pakistan, we hope to be able to demonstrate a suitable community model in the country which could be used to help expand access to rural and underserved areas”.

Sharing his thoughts, Amir Malik, CEO of COMSATS Internet Services (CIS) said, “COMSATS Internet Services has been involved with community building efforts through projects like our Tele-Health network, and we are always looking for opportunities to use available resources to help empower the marginalized community. Our collaboration with ISOC for the Wireless for Communities programme will be a beneficial initiative to provide internet services to the remote community in Chak Faiz. With such initiatives, we hope to create model communities that serve as examples for the developmental role the Internet can play in society. This programme will improve the lives of people in rural areas by offering online access and promoting e-services. It will hopefully contribute directly to an increased level of awareness concerning the benefits of ICTs and lead to ideas for more livelihoods.”

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