Inveneo Nepal Archives

Lizards, Monkeys, and Bees – ICT Support Calls We’ve Received

  1. Posted by Inveneo on March 30, 2011 in the categories: News

With rural ICT implementations in over 23 countries, Inveneo gets some interesting support calls as all manner of issues come about. Today from Kenya, we bring you the lizard that blew up the inverter.

Apparently a little green lizard thought an electrical inverter at one of our project sites would be a nice warm place to take a nap. ZAP! He became a fried lizard and took out the AC power system when he shorted out the inverter motherboard. Here’s a close-up.

Now this was an easy fix for our local partner, Winafrique. But not all of our support calls are so simple to diagnose and rectify. Here is one we received from Nepal:

A monkey is relocating the WiFi antenna on the roof. Please suggest the best troubleshooting steps for that.

Not having a wild monkey troop in San Francisco to test solutions with, the best we could do is come up with these three options for our Nepali partners to try:

  1. Coat antenna with cayenne pepper to annoy the monkey
  2. Electrify a fake antenna to teach the monkey to stay away
  3. And if those didn’t work, make monkey stew

Usually though, our local partners have a solution, like the time killer bees nested in another WiFi box. No one wants to disturb a killer bees’ nest, but honey conducts electricity and the bees were shorting out the router, taking out Internet access to the project site.

Our local partner in the project, Norbert Okec, knew the local beekeeper, borrowed a beekeeper outfit, and cleaned, repaired and reinstalled the WiFi box. To quote Mark Summer,

It shows just how important it is to have local partners to help with installations, support and many of the other issues you can never predict in Africa and Haiti.

WiFi comes to the Himalayas

  1. Posted by Inveneo on October 23, 2009 in the categories: Government, News

In August 2009, Inveneo expanded our social impact to Nepal, a primarily rural country of more than more than 28 million people. Only 17% of the population lives in urban areas, and while there is a power grid throughout the country, it is unreliable. Consequently, getting the tools of information and communications technology (ICTs) out to more of the people is quite a challenge.

Inveneo in collaboration with eVeda worked with the Ministry of Information and Communications, Postal Services Division to deploy Inveneo ICTs in post offices in the Eastern Region of Nepal (other Postal Information Centers — or PICs — have been deployed across the country by the Ministry). The Postal Service is the only government division with offices in every village, making it the perfect agency to offer computer and Internet access to the public.

Mark Summer and Andris Bjornson of Inveneo, with Sudip Aryal, ICT Consultant to the Ministry of Information and Communications, spent one week installing an Inveneo server and two VoIP (Voice over IP) phones at the district post office in Dharan. Since this is where the DSL connection provided by Nepal Telecom ended, the team also installed a long-range WiFi connection on a communications relay tower. Additionally, they also performed the installation at one of the post office locations.

The following week four ICT companies — eVedaSoftSpaceSmart Solutions, and Online Computers — plus two people from the Postal Service and two more from NRIDS (Nepal Rural Information Technology Development Society) joined Mark and Andris in Dharan for a week of classroom-based Inveneo Certified ICT Partner training.

Following a week of classroom training the group split into two teams, eight people traveling with Mark to more accessible villages, while a smaller group of four moved into the more remote villages with Andris. At each of six post offices, they installed a WiFi connection, two desktop systems, one VoIP phone, a multifunction printer/scanner/copier, headsets and webcams, as well as a battery backup.

In addition to setting up six offices to sell Internet and VoIP telephone services, the team of Inveneo and ICIPs also trained a Postal Service employee as a computer lab manager. The Postal Service employees now use the VoIP telephones to communicate with each other, as well as to generate income by selling access time.

Using the post offices, which are already in place throughout the country, gives these government buildings a new use. In this way, Nepal is bringing those living in rural parts of the country in closer communication and contact with life and commerce in the major cities.