From EE Times
July 17, 2008
Video: Berkeley brings WiFi to rural poor
By Rick Merritt
Burlingame, Calif. — Eric Brewer draws a line in the sand, one that stretches clear across the Sahara Desert from Gibraltar south to Ghana. It represents his vision for a wireless backbone network that could bring a better life to rural Africa using the same WiFi technology popular in San Francisco cafes.
"I want people to think big," said Brewer, a professor of computer science at U.C. Berkeley who has spent the last five years seeking ways to use WiFi to improve life in rural communities in the developing world.
Brewer shared his views and experiences in a keynote to a group of fellow academics and engineers at an IEEE workshop on wireless mesh networks here Monday (June 11). He describes his work in the video below.
His efforts have resulted in significant humanitarian and technical milestones to date. Brewer and others part of the Berkeley Tier project helped establish remote eye clinics in India that have helped as many as 3,000 people regain vision. They also assisted a team that set the world's record for the longest WiFi link—a 220 mile connection in Venezuela that delivered 6 Mbits/s....