In countries such as the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia, almost one out of ten (9.2%) of the whole country population is within the school-ages (5-14 years) and living in rural areas. With this current pandemic and even beyond, homeschooling has become the norm. But how can you do homeschooling when being isolated from your teacher? How to build and maintain the relationship with classmates and friends in those formative years, when in lockdown?
When living in an urban part of the world, our children fire up Zoom, Teams, or any of the many other video communication platforms, to keep connected with teachers and classmates. And we take this for granted. One of the most striking differences between rural and urban areas is the availability of network connectivity at an affordable cost.
Telecom companies have rarely paid enough attention to connect our rural areas. And when it is available it is most of the time very unreliable and at a high cost. With this increasing need for local provincial governments to support homeschooling, the lack of good network connectivity at an affordable cost for everyone is a massive roadblock.
But progressive provinces take control of the situation, putting themselves in the driver seat and deploy their own network. Can this really be done? It is already happening! We have seen several local provincial governments installing a network connecting their whole province, with a network they own by themselves. A wireless network connecting the municipalities throughout the province can be done at a fraction of the cost and time compared with fibre connectivity.
In the Philippines, we helped a local provincial government together with our local partner, to deploy a wireless backbone network connecting more than 20 municipalities, their 7 province hospitals, and government buildings. The network spread out over a more than 1,498 km² (578 sq mi) area, in a total of more than 230 km long backhaul links altogether. The village furthest away from the province’s capital was 50 km away and experienced a data bandwidth they could only dream of.
So to help all rural provinces secure good network connectivity for everyone, support homeschooling and more, Anywhere Networks work with our many partners and local provincial governments. A connected world for every child!
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