present villagers are using the
network for communication purposes since the network is the
only means of communication available. People from the villages
working abroad are using e-mails to communicate with their families
in the villages. The students and teachers are using their web mail
accounts under nepalwireless.net.
Some people are also using free web mail accounts such as Yahoo or
hotmail or others.
We are using the network for communication through bulletin board as well, where the local people can put local news, local advertisement, announcement and urgent messages.
We are also using the network for local e-commerce where villagers can put their local products such as cows, buffaloes, goat, chicken etc, for sale. You can visit the site at look at the local site (Internal Homepage) at http://www.nepalwireless.com.np.
Students from high schools are using
the network to write e-mails to each other and to their pen-pals
abroad. In the past, the students used to send letters to their
pen-pals through "snail mail" which used to take months. Now they
can communicate within a matter of minutes no matter where they are
located. Also, the teachers and students are getting access to some
educational materials that we have put in the intranet.
Computer Lab in Nangi village
Computer Lab in Tikot village
Communication center in Ghorepani
Computer lab in Shikha village
Paudwar and Nangi villages are using
the network to run their income producing projects smoothly. They
have been running Yak farming and Camping Grounds on joint venture
basis way up from the villages (at 12,000 ft) for several years. Now
the management committee of the projects are using the network to
communicate with each other through NetMeeting or email in order to
take appropriate decision for the projects. Moreover, we have given
laptops to the camping ground and Yak farming staff. The management
committee and the staff communicate regularly with each other to run
the projects smoothly.
Nangi school has also started a
cross-breeding program between yaks and cows near the Relay Station
1 mountain at an elevation of 11,000 ft. There is a person working
on that project. It has been easier for the person taking care of
the yak and cows to communicate with the villages and other yak
herders through his laptop.
We would like to make use of the
network for the benefit of the people living in the rural areas of
Nepal. So far we have made the following progresses.
1. Progress on Educational Plans:
Nepal Wireless Networking Project is working with Open Learning
Exchange (OLE), an NGO based in the US and Kathmandu as a partner to
develop educational interactive contents for the school children. The contents
are based on the government curriculum from grade one through
ten. We have already started pilot test of the contents produced by OLE - NEPAL of English and Math of grade
two and six from April 2008. Please visit the http://www.olenepal.org for more information.
One of our main goals
is to use the network for live teleteaching by one teacher from one
high school to the students of several other high schools. The live
distance teaching installation and testing has been completed using
Axis 210 cameras, however, the video quality for the tele teaching
is not good enough. We are seeking for technical assistance
for launching the distance education program. If they succeed in
this endeavor, it will help to fill the acute shortage of qualified
teachers in the rural areas.
2. Progress on Tele-medicine
Plans: We have set up tele-medicine program
between Nangi village, Ramche village and Tikot village. The health worker of Nangi, Ramche and Tikot
village are communicating with a medical doctor in Pokhara for
medical assistance. It is working well. Our idea is to have the
doctors in Om Hospital of Pokhara communicate with the patients in
the village clinic directly through video-conferencing in order to
treat the patient. The village health workers on village side assist
the communication between the doctor and the patient and provide the
medicine prescribed by the doctor. Our next program is to start the
same program in more villages. Similar telemedicine program has been launched from
Kathmandu Model Hospital to Dolakha General Hospital.We are working on expanding the services to more rural clinics of Makawanpur district.
3. Progress on E-commerce Plans:
For the e-commerce site, the students of Gandaki Software
Engineering College, Pokhara Nepal developed a software and
they launched the e-commerce software in December,
2007. They went to the villages and taught villagers how to use
the application. So far we have provided just one training program for the villagers. We are planning to run more training programs for the villagers in 2008.
4. Progress on Establishment of
Communication Centers in the Villages:
All of the 22 villages that we have networked did not have
telephone. We have now successfully connected the Wi-fi network to
PSTN line in Pokhara using Wi-fi to PSTN adaptor. The adaptor we are
using for this purpose is Sipura. This type of communication is
purely VoIP and currently it is illegal to use it in Nepal. We have
set up a a network server in Pokhara that facilitates network
management and provides a number of services to network users. The
server computer is a large Pentium IV system with dual hard disks.
The system runs a Fedora Core 6 Linux distribution with additional
third party software and is configured for maximum redundancy to
guard against failure.
Right now 15 out of 22 villages in the network are connected
to PSTN telephone of Nepal Telecom through the WiFi network.
Nepal Telecom has provided 4 -telephone lines.
Also the villagers can make VoIP call to
each other using soft phone or hard phone. To make the telephone
call easier, each village has been provided four-digit extension
number such as 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4500, 5000 etc. Moreover,
people from anywhere in the world can make VoIP call to reach these
villages. The call goes through the Internet and it is free. For
this to work one needs an extension number and one needs to install
the soft phone software in computer or one needs to have a VoIP hard
phone set. The only constraint to make VoIP telephone call to the
villages from abroad using the extension number is that they don't
have enough Internet bandwidth from the ISP. Right now we have only
128 kbps connection. Skype, Yahoo Voice Chatting works in the
morning or evening because not many people use Internet during that
time amd Internet bandwidth available.
5. Network Expansion: The work for the expansion of the network to nine more
villages completed in January 2008. International Telecommunication Union provided equipment for the expansion of the network. These
villages are Bega, Lekhgaun, Swanta, Gharamdi, Bandok,
Chhomorong, Landruk, and Ghandruk.
6. Credit Card Transaction Service: In May 2008, we started Visa and Master card transaction service in Ghore pani for testing. This is going to be a virtual ATM machine. The Mother's Group of Ghorepani and thamel.com are working together to run this program. This program will be a good source of income in future. We are planning to set up similar service in other touris towns such as Ghandruk, Chhomorong, Tatopani, Shikha and others that are in the famous Annapurna Trekking Route.
In this way we can extend the network to larger areas of Nepal
step by step, making the name Nepalwireless.net a reality.