Inveneo Haiti Rural Broadband Initiative Archives

Our Significant Progress in Building Haiti Back Better

  1. Posted by Inveneo on September 14, 2011 in the categories: Economic Development, News

Inveneo is committed to bringing real economic and education opportunities to Haiti in 2011 through the Haiti Rural Broadband Initiative and related efforts. HRBI is a collaborative program involving Haitian Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Haitian IT entrepreneurs and the many organizations – NGOs and otherwise – that will benefit from access to reliable and affordable broadband Internet. Since its formal launch in January 2011, HRBI continues to make progress in all key program areas.

Our network buildout and infrastructure has rolled out to three rural service areas, Artibonite, Léogâne and Central Plateau, including an 82 km link, our longest yet, and 89 new radios, covering 12 of 22 target communes across the country. This backbone is now fed by three Haitian Internet service providers; Access Haiti, Multilink, and Voila, and is connecting organizations across Haiti already.

The BATI Program has trained 27 BATI entrepreneurs in three provinces, with 39 more in the pipeline, and brought on two new Inveneo Certified ICT Partners (ICIPs), Haiti Telecom Group (HTG) and Transversal. The Haiti Connected Schools (HCS) program completed site surveys at 30 schools with 10 schools identified as the first recipients of ICT interventions, and French content was identified for teachers and students.

We are proud to announce that the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund has invested an additional $259,000 into HCS for solar power (panels, batteries, peripheral equipment) and installation from local power experts for the schools. This is a great vote of confidence in our program and our approach.

Accelerating Broadband to the First Mile – an Inveneo White Paper

  1. Posted by Inveneo on April 27, 2011 in the categories: News, Publications

Just 9.6% of the total population in Africa has access to the Internet. This is less than 1/5th and 1/6th of the rate in the Americas and Europe, respectively. But this statistic does not convey the real situation in the world’s poorest countries. Of Africa’s 48 sub-­Saharan countries, 29 (60%) have total Internet usage rates (at any speed) of less than 3%, and 15 (31%) show less than 1%. Broadband access rates are far lower still.

Thus, while wireless broadband has exploded in much of the world, as the ITU’s 2009 report points out, there remains “a dramatic broadband divide, with very few fixed broadband subscribers or mobile broadband subscriptions in Africa.”

Inveneo believes that closing the broadband gap will require new, collaborative and low-cost broadband service delivery models. Moreover, we believe that the essential components of such a model already exist; what’s needed is a well-conceived and coordinated effort to bring them together in a functioning service delivery framework.

In the Accelerating Broadband to the First Mile white paper, Inveneo and our partners are working to define and deploy a novel, locally sustainable wireless broadband delivery model, starting in Haiti.

The Inveneo­-led Haiti Rural Broadband (HRB) initiative is a collaborative program seeking to catalyze sustainable broadband access in underserved parts of Haiti. The program is founded on the idea that dramatic capital and operating cost savings can be realized through the use of ultra-low-cost wireless technologies, an emphasis on building local IT capacity to deploy and support broadband infrastructure and new approaches to cooperative network ownership and management.

HRB’s primary short-term objective is to bring affordable, reliable and sustainable broadband access to 6 regions and 20 currently un-served population centers across Haiti. The longer-term goal is to explore how the HRB model can be replicated in similarly rural and low resource areas across the developing world.

Inveneo Brings Up 82km Wireless Link to Haiti’s Central Massif – A New Distance Record!

  1. Posted by Inveneo on March 23, 2011 in the categories: Economic Development, News, Projects

Inveneo engineers have been busy in Haiti! With our extension of the high-speed wireless backbone over an 82km wireless link from Port-au-Prince to a mountaintop site in the Central Massif, we shattered our previous internal record for longest link deployed, set in May 2010 and spanning 55km, from Port-au-Prince to Vallue.

This new long link is the first step in bringing broadband connectivity to nonprofits, public agencies and small businesses in the underserved Central Plateau and Artibonite Valley regions and beyond.

We put up this link with our standard long distance WiFi workhorse: the Ubiquiti RocketM5 radio with the 30 dBi RocketDish antenna. We were pleasantly surprised with the signal strength captured by this little dish on such a long link: up to a booming -74 dBm! (For the non-technical folk: smaller negative numbers mean greater received power).

We arrived at the installation site prepared to install the significantly larger 34 dBi RocketDish, but given the strong performance of the smaller model we decided to hold off installing the larger dishes until we can streamline them with aerodynamic covers called radomes to cut down on wind load. With conservative performance settings, we’ve been able to push 20+ Mbps over this link in both directions and expect to do much better once we put the larger dishes in place.

Wireless networks are relatively easy to deploy. This is one of the reasons they are such a good fit for the rural and developing world. After we identify a favorable relay location, we verify line-of-sight to an existing site using link analysis software and a site survey. Once we verify the link we position our engineers at each end with a small kit of gear. Though the rough roads in rural Haiti, Sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere can make this process difficult, it’s certainly easier than digging 82km of trench and stringing 82km of cable or fiber.

With sites identified and the link verified, a few days of hard installation work is all it takes to get a broadband Internet connection on a remote rural hilltop in Haiti’s Central Plateau. While the logistics of getting the right people and equipment are not simple, they are made substantially easier by the compact rugged equipment we use and are by far easier than installing fiber or cable. Next stop: putting up distribution and last-mile links to bring Internet to organizations subscribing to this reliable connectivity throughout rural Haiti.