While we are proud
of our successes to date, we also realize there are many areas
we can improve the network. In particular, we would like to
concentrate on the following areas
as we move forward.
1. Provide additional resources
needed for the tele-teaching and telemedicine installation: The goal is to make live tele-teaching a viable educational opportunity for
students in the community. While we have invested in some of the necessary technology,
further work and investment is needed to reach a point where the live tele-teaching works perfectly helping to address the shortage of qualified teachers. The major
investment that will be required for tele-teaching is buying LCD projectors, faster computers
for each classroom, and high resolution audio-video conferencing equipment.
2. Run training programs to
implement local e-commerce program effectively in more villages:
Students of Gandaki College of Engineering and Science have developed a webbased software platform for the local e-commerce. This program has been
implemented in some of the villages. The idea of local e-commerce is to let the villagers provide the information about their product such as goat, cow, buffalo, oxen, potato, vegetable etc,to others. No additional investment will be required for this program.
3. Provide quality of Internet services:
With so many users sharing a 128 Kbps Internet connection, Internet access is becoming slow. The plan is to upgrade this
connection to at least 256 Kbps soon. Moreover, we plan to put more equipment to backup
power at the relay stations and communication centers to increase performance and
4. Extend the network and VoIP phone service to more
villages: By bringing network service to more villages, particularly phone and
Internet service, we plan to provide a revenue stream both for the village and for the
project. We will use the money raised through $1 per person per month for the expansion of the wireless network. Right now we are working on providing VoIP phone services through the Internet to the villagers. This will be very helpful to the villagers because most of the young men of all the villages are working abroad to make money and the VoIP service will provide them cheaper means of communication. VoIP phone service will generate good income for the project and will help to sustain.
5. Start remittance and credit card transaction serivces in the villages and tourist towns: For the long term sustainability of the wireless network we need to make money. One of the potential source of good income for the project is credit card transaction services for the tourists travelling in Annapurna region and remittance services for the villagers. The reason remittance service is viable in the mountain villages is that most of the byoung people from the rural areas go to work abroad such as Gulf countries, Malaysia, Korea and Japan. They always send money to their families in the village. the commission that we will charge will bring income.
6. Organize training programs for
interested people to help replicate the network: The project has gotten good publicities in Nepal. Therefore several
people including several members of parliament have shown their interests to replicate
such network in their districts. In order to encourage people to replicate the project
in different parts of Nepal occasional training programs will be organized in different
parts of the country. For the training purpose, a handbook in simple Nepali language has
already been published.
Photo of the front page of the Handbook for Network Operators
7. Develop a formal web
application dedicated to the purposes of tele -medicine:
Another important plan is to develop a simple 'portal' written
in Java and PHP that contains the followings inside a single instance of a web
- Two video windows, one of each peer
- A two-way text chat window,
for exchange of prescriptions, diagnoses
- An information/status window filled by the server providing
information to each
endpoint about the status of the connection and the name and
VoIP phone extension
of the remote party.
- A link to call the remote party via the Xten VoIP software
8. Add redundancy and backup to
the network services: The plan is to add an additional server, placed at Himanchal Higher Secondary School, Nangi that
would maintain a full copy of the server in Pokhara as well as run a duplicate set of
services. Should the server go or the link goes down to Pokhara, the network would still be
fully operational, except the PSTN gateway functionality.
9. Develop a limited liability
company including the stakeholders: In a few years we would like this project to be operated by a not-for-profit organization, owned by public and private partners, and sustained beyond the initial installation phase by revenues generated from services. Therefore the project is planning to set up a limited liability company in future by
including the public stakeholders such as the local governments, community schools
and private partners from the rural communities. Some of the local governments have
already shown interest to invest from 5% to 10% of the yearly grant they get from Nepal
Government for networking the villages wirelessly. The local governments get
about US$ 14,000 grant each year and are free to use for local development based on their