Aiming to bridge the digital divide in southern Virginia, non-profit wholesale open-access fiber network transport provider Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities (MBC) Corp. and wireless ISP Gamewood Technologies Corp. have teamed up with India’s Vihaan Networks Ltd. (VNL) to bring a novel “Green Wi-Fi” microtelecom solution to residents of Halifax.
With low installation, operating and maintenance costs and making use of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, VNL’s low-power WorldGSM is being used in India and Kenya to bring wireless broadband access to remote rural residents who’ve never had it before. MBC and Gamewood have brought it to the U.S., partnering with VNL to launch a pilot project “to test the coverage, speed and functionality of unique wireless rural broadband access equipment and evaluate the technology for wider deployment in rural, unserved communities.”
The project in Halifax makes use of VNL’s WorldGSM Rural Site and Village Site solutions’ solar-powered base stations, which link up to MBC’s open-access fiber optic transport network, which in turn provides dedicated connectivity to Gamewood’s Internet network.
“We are delighted to partner with MBC and Gamewood to deliver wireless broadband access in the Town of Halifax, Virginia, USA,” VNL founder, chairman and CEO Rajiv Mehrota was quoted in a press release. “This historic and scenic town is such a contrast to the harsh topography of remote areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America, where VNL has deployed GSM and broadband networks. That’s the beauty of a simple, sustainable solution like WorldGSM – it fits in fine, anywhere. Compact and green, it’s showing the way to deliver cost-effective access to unserved communities.”
Added Halifax Town Manager Carl Espy, “Downtown businesses and visitors to the historic County Seat were accustomed to free Wi-Fi when Pure Internet/Kinex offered the service until the company closed its office 2 years ago. MBC and Gamewood Technologies have provided their wireless expertise, allowing our community to once again possess an enhanced technology which improves the overall business climate and quality of life we seek as part of the town’s ongoing revitalization.”