Inderveer Singh Johal, Valley Telegence - 1st Quarter 2020
As a key component of the CSC initiative to deploy digital infrastructure in villages in India, Valley Telegence has led the installation of 12,000 hotspots in part of the world’s largest rural broadband connectivity project.
Chadd Giles, Resound Networks - 1st Quarter 2020
Based in Pampa, Texas, Resound Networks is a wireless internet service provider (WISP) that is providing Wi-Fi connectivity to schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. To support digital learning initiatives, Resound Networks is setting up Wi-Fi access points in school parking lots so students can download and upload assignments.
As quarantining began in Texas communities, Chadd and his team installed parking lot outdoor Wi-Fi that extended the schools’ network so that students could participate in lesson plans and research while social distancing. Chadd shares his experience and best practices in this solution paper.
Steve Jones, Maxwire Internet - 1st Quarter 2020
The unprecedented shift to remote learning from primary schools to universities, coupled with widespread work from home initiatives, induced by the COVID-19 recovery, dictates a rapid response on the part of wireless internet services providers. Never in the history of the internet has there been a seismic shift in capacity demand, and from a distributed network.
Steve shares his story of how he and his team enabled local schools to provide “drive-in” connectivity for students so that they can continue their education. His solution is shared in this paper and this video.
Adrián Serna del Pozo, Ayuntamiento de Villarcayo de MCV - 1st Quarter 2020
To improve commerce, education and public safety, the WiFi4EU project focuses on providing Wi-Fi in municipalities. This project in a large area in the north of Spain provides service to a community where ADSL and 4G are not available.
Ibersystems Solutions is a wireless connectivity solutions provider company in Barcelona. During the recent high peak of cases of COVID-19 they worked for a hospital, creating a mesh network to interconnect cameras on each room to allow healthcare workers to easily monitor isolated patients which saved a considerable amount of time for the staff and also dramatically reduced the use of scarce personal protective equipment.
Martín and his team rapidly deployed Wi-Fi throughout a seven-floor hospital in Spain to improve health care and connectivity for patients while providing doctors and nurses rapid access to information to provide the best possible care.
2019 Connectivity Hero of the Year
Chris Hillis, ITDRC
ITDRC connects thousands of disaster survivors and responders in dozens of communities in the United States by providing Wi-Fi connectivity and technical resources in the critical days and weeks following a catastrophic event. “ITDRC is comprised of approximately 1,500 service-oriented volunteer technology professionals,” says Chris. “While each member has a slightly different motivation, the team is bonded through service to others. We believe in using our skills for good – we’re just neighbors helping neighbors.”
Martin Boucher, CasCom - 4th Quarter 2019
Wireless connectivity supports hotels and mining sites across rural Canada, which previously had poor internet connectivity and restricted networks. Martin is the legend behind the Wi-Fi connectivity for hardworking people in the Canadian Mountains, ice roads and the Arctic. He configures and supports many wireless projects simultaneously and is a truly remarkable individual worthy of recognition for his efforts to expand wireless networks across the country.
C Ravi Kumar, InfoNet – 4th Quarter 2019
InfoNet started as a small service provider connecting a handful of locations with reliable, cost-effective connectivity. Based on their reputation, they have grown to provide connectivity to businesses, schools and residential locations, totaling more than 8,000 customers. They are now established as a regional communications service provider and aspire to provide national coverage.
Ucha Seturi, Mountain Community Network - 2nd Quarter 2019
Ucha Seturi is leader and initiator of a project to develop internet access to the mountainous areas of Georgia. The Community network project is implementing by constricting local high-speed fixed wireless network with backbone and access systems’ installed at remote, challenging locations at elevations reaching 3500 meters above sea level. The project is opening new development avenues for tourism and preservation of unique local culture, provides essential communication channel in case of healthcare and other emergencies, supports the economic sustainability of the region and creates opportunities for the local community to establish business contacts, offer and sell local products and services. Through Internet connection, the population can have access to online resources, use educational, E-heath and E-government services, access job markets. Ucha’s designated charity is to create an extension to reach more communities with Mountain Community Network.
Russ Watson, Countrynet - 2nd Quarter 2019
Countrynet brings high-speed internet service to the most remote locations in the South Island of New Zealand. He says, “We are able to provide service almost anywhere in the Southern Lakes district – see our coverage map for more detail. Even if you’re not in our coverage area, we may be able to install a custom link to a specific location at your request.” Russ’ designated Charity is the Amateur Radio Emergency Communications in New Zealand.
In his daily job, Roberto works as a technology distributor partnering with government agencies to provide connectivity to public schools in rural areas in Latin America. From his home in Ecuador, Roberto also donates his personal time working with the Rotaract organization to do social work to improve the lives of children. “I think we all come to the world with some mission,” says Roberto. “I would like to think that mine is to help people with what I have and try to give back to the world a part of something that has been given to me. Doing social work to help children allows me to do that.” Roberto’s designated charity is Fundación Rotaria Colombia: https://www.rotary.org/es/about-rotary/rotary-foundation
Chris Hillis, Co-Founder, Information Technology Disaster Resource Center - 1st Quarter 2019
ITDRC connects thousands of disaster survivors and responders in dozens of communities in the United States by providing Wi-Fi connectivity and technical resources in the critical days and weeks following a catastrophic event. “ITDRC is comprised of approximately 1,500 service-oriented volunteer technology professionals,” says Chris. “While each member has a slightly different motivation, the team is bonded through service to others. We believe in using our skills for good – we’re just neighbors helping neighbors.” Chris’ designated charity is ITDRC – https://www.itdrc.org.
Project Isizwe is a non-profit organization that advocates for and enables the deployment of free Wi-Fi hotspots within a walking distance in low-income communities. Project Isizwe partners with the private and public sectors and pioneered the deployment of the largest free public Wi-Fi network in Africa in the Tshwane Municipality, Gauteng, South Africa. Under Duduzile’s leadership, Project Isizwe pioneered connecting two mining communities to free Wi-Fi in partnership with Glencore Mine in Mpumalanga.
Ms. Mkhwanazi’s designated charity is Project Isizwe.
Eric Wills, Wireless Applications Corp - 4th Quarter 2018
After Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, many of the wireless providers were stricken with the overwhelming work ahead to get all facilities back in working order for residents and businesses. Through the tight and loyal business relationship between Wireless Applications Corporation and Neptuno Networks (one of the major 3 wireless providers on the island), the utilization of Wireless Applications services team helped to quickly identify the outage areas, redesign and reroute microwave links to reach residents and businesses in the path, and get them back up and running faster than any provider on the island.
Project Isizwe is a non-profit organization that advocates for and enables the deployment of free Wi-Fi hotspots within a walking distance in low-income communities. In addition to connecting the two mining communities mentioned above, Project Isizwe also partnered with AWARE.org to use internet access as an enabler for their Responsible Alcohol Usage Program; and The Social Collective on their Free Wi-Fi Champions Program – both in Botshabelo (Free State) and Bushbuckridge (Nelspruit).
After his OmiLogic WISP network in California was destroyed by wild fires, Jonathan and his daughter rapidly built a wireless network to connect aid agencies, first responders and families. When his own network was literally in ashes, he donated his talents to help start the restoration process in his community.
John Badal, Sacred Wind Communications - 2nd Quarter 2018
Sacred Wind Communications acquired a service territory of 3,200 square miles with less than 7,000 occupied homes, most of which had no access to any telecommunications services. Sacred Wind took it upon itself to deliver basic voice and broadband service to those homes using solar power. Sacred Wind’s own field technicians install the solar units at the same time as they install the fixed wireless equipment on a customer’s home for the delivery of voice and broadband services. This simple solution has been found to reunite families. In a couple instances the school-age children of some Navajo families who had been sent to live with relatives while attending school were able to return home once electricity and broadband had been installed.
L. Elizabeth Bowles, Aristotle Inc - 2nd Quarter 2018
Aristotle is currently involved in a number of projects that specifically designed to eliminate the digital divide. Much of Elizabeth’s time has been spent working at the Federal level on the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee of the FCC to create model codes that will serve as a guide to states and municipalities to bridge the digital divide. Aristotle currently is working with the Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District (SEAEDD) to create a project plan and secure funding for deployment of broadband in a 10-county area of the rural Delta of Arkansas. These counties have little to no broadband, sometimes even without cellular service. This creates a problem on a number of fronts, including economic development, population attrition, medical needs, and education. The goal of this project is to create a broadband network that is comparable to what is available in urban areas. She is also working with ForwARd Arkansas and their partners, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation (Wal-Mart), to create a roadmap for how to deploy broadband statewide throughout Arkansas. ForwARd Arkansas’ mission is to ensure ubiquitous broadband with the aim of eliminating the homework divide.
Daniel Sacchero, Easyweb Digital - 2nd Quarter 2018
Easyweb Digital currently provide Public Wi-Fi to three Alice Springs Town Camp computer rooms which are run and supervised by CAYLUS: Hidden Valley, Karnte and Nyewente. CAYLUS also extend their service to accommodate for personal devices to connect to their Public Wi-Fi. Not only is the integration of Public Wi-Fi beneficial for the connectivity of youths; it allows an entire community to engage with various online platforms such as government services, self-learning and social media. As a result of CAYLUS working with the local community, they have developed the ability to manage and reduce the risks of online trolling and bullying.
Dileep Agrawal, WorldLink - 1st Quarter 2018
“During the devastating earthquake of 2015, WorldLink moved into four of the most devastated villages of Nepal, including Barpak, which was near the epicenter. We established wireless internet connectivity into these villages and provided public Wi-Fi services, as well as two laptops for the general public to use. The impacted population was able to communicate with their loved ones and the world at large and inform them about their situation. The connectivity was also heavily used by the relief agencies to coordinate their efforts. During such calamities, people are in shock and have a lot of free time as there is not much to be done. We used Cambium gear for the long range backhaul links.”
Gunnar Kauke, American Wide Broadband - 1st Quarter 2018
We have taken steps to stop Rhino Poaching in SA, we are private farm, and don’t get any help from outside, we go the extra mile to ensure the Safety of our Animals here on our farm. We use the wireless broadband radios and network to supply us with real time live feed from the cameras to our main guard house, we have this around the whole farm, so the chances of a Rhino poacher entering our premises un detected is basically not possible. This has up to date, stopped four attempts of these poachers trying to enter our farm.
“Disaster Tech Lab, an Ireland-based NGO specializes in providing internet access in disaster zones. We were contacted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with the request to provide internet access to refugee camps to be established in Greece to connect more than 400,000 refugees.” The wireless network was rapidly installed and provides connectivity for people to contact aid agencies and family members. Read more in this article in Computer Weekly.
Mr. Bopp’s designated charity is DTL, which also provides connectivity in the wake of hurricane disasters.
Paul Black, Wispa pty - 4th Quarter 2017
“Our network is made up of long distance wireless links mostly in remote areas to connect all of the nine provinces in South Africa. Our longest link is 210 kilometers, and we have 100% reliability.” Black’s designated charity is Hope.org Thembalitsha, which brings a new sense of hope to the destitute, forgotten, sick and vulnerable people of the Western and Eastern Cape.
“Our team provided Wi-Fi connectivity after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. We mobilized our volunteers and built Wi-Fi networks to help aid agencies and families immediately.” Lentz’s designated charity is the CodeRGV digital literacy program, which provides boot camps, classes and open sessions to encourage children and adults of all ages to get involved in technology.
Minn Thein, Frontiir Communications - 4th Quarter 2017
“We have built a nationwide broadband network including Myanmar towns and villages to provide affordable digital access and bridge the digital divide.” Frontiir has donated equipment and expertise to aid in the rehabilitation of the hard hit Chin State.
Evert Bopp, Disaster Tech Lab - 3rd Quarter 2017
Evert Bopp, Disaster Tech Lab (DTL) – “Disaster Tech Lab, an Ireland-based NGO specializing in providing internet access in disaster zones. We were contacted by the UNHCR with the request to provide internet access to refugee camps to be established in Greece to connect more than 400,000 refugees.” The wireless network was rapidly installed and provides connectivity for people to contact aid agencies and family members. Read more in this article in Computer Weekly.
Mr. Bopp’s designated charity is DTL, which also provides connectivity in the wake of hurricane disasters.
Juan Javier Marriott, Consulnetworks S.A. - 3rd Quarter 2017
Juan Javier Marriott, Consulnetworks S. A. – “Our company donated internet service to connect a local school.” The connection provides an opportunity for young people to connect to the world.
Mr. Marriott’s designated charity is the Colegio San Gabriel Fundesia, which created four schools in Cauca and Cali in Colombia that serve more than 2,100 children in extreme poverty and rescue them from violence.
Tsering G. Sherpa, EverestLink - 3rd Quarter 2017
Tsering G. Sherpa, EverestLink – “We establish smart communities in the rural Himalayan regions of Nepal and connect schools and communities in rugged and remote terrain. The whole community benefits from this connectivity.” Mr. Sherpa shares his story in this paper.
Mr. Sherpa’s charity is to improve the education of destitute children in the Himalayan area.
Jay Dearhouse, Semper WiFi - 3rd Quarter 2017
Jay Dearhouse, Semper WiFi – Jay is a former US Marine Corps Sergeant, Firefighter, and EMT in addition to a network engineer. “We are a collaboration of Marine Corps veterans who felt that the timing was right to take a leap and attempt our own network on the Kahnawake reservation. We are proud to provide connectivity to people who have been demanding it for several years and hope to add more towns and villages that need high-speed bandwidth in the near future.”
Mr. Dearhouses’s designated charity is the Kahnawake Youth Center, which provides a safe place for young people to play and socialize.