Over a year ago I wrote about a company called Inveneo – a nonprofit producing a bicycle/solar powered VoIP system that can be used in villages where electricity and cell phones are not available. The bike runs on Asterisk and I have had a chance since to pedal this bike.
About 13 months later, Time magazine has gotten into the game and has also written about Inveneo. Here is their excellent article.
Here is an excerpt:
Inveneo was launched in 2004 by three Silicon Valley veterans–Mark Summer, 36; Kristin Peterson, 45; and Bob Marsh, 59–who share a passion for high tech and an interest in the developing world. They had done enough volunteer work overseas to see how wireless communications might improve and save lives–through phone calls to health clinics, fast reporting of natural disasters, support for trading co-ops and better educational opportunities.
So they designed a solar-powered Internet network that is inexpensive, easy to install and nearly maintenance free. At its heart is a regional hub from which wireless relay stations–some bolted to trees–fan out for up to four miles and connect a network of PCs. Total cost, including solar panels and relay stations: $1,995.