Effective Broadband for Bridging the Digital Divide

“A pilot project for community based Internet Service Provider and Services”

The prime objective of this project is to build a robust fiber optic network in under served areas in Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality through a PPP (Public Private Partnership) model. The network platform has been architect-ed to connect a myriad of stakeholders, ranging from government agencies to private citizens within any given local community. The network will be deployed from Namche Bazaar to Gorakhshep.

The specific objectives of the project are:

  1. Develop a community centric approach to setup broadband infrastructure and to provide ICT centric solutions to the local community
  2. Create a knowledge base and initiate an awareness campaign on climate change and its impact
  3. Create ICT based knowledge sharing platforms, develop appropriate ICT-based tools and support sustainable projects
  4. Develop an effective Regional Information System
  5. Assist researchers on data acquisition related to climate change and glacial lakes that lie in the proposed project area
  6. Ensure business continuity by introducing the self-sustained project paradigm to ensure the local community manages, operates, and maintains the project itself

Together with Nepal Research and Education Network (NREN), the project has been designed to provide infrastructure services to rural communities. ITU-T Standardized light-weight yet robust fiber optic cable will be used to provide IP connectivity to rural communities.

The project will leverage the use of ICT tools for human development. This shall include telemedicine, remote online education, and e-governance based services. The team believes that this aspect of the project will impact the local community, local government, health and educational institutions.

This project will collaborate with scientists to seek research opportunities. This study will be relevant to all donors and development regions of Nepal. Since the network will be deployed in the higher altitudes of the Himalayan region, which experiences extreme climatic conditions, the network will inherently be valuable for any global climate change research team.

Asi@Connect under Grand Contract ACA 2016/376-562 selected the above mentioned project for funding in September 2017. ICT4D is grateful for have been given an opportunity to bridge the acute digital divide that plagues rural Nepal through this grant.

The Asi@Connect Project is the successor of the TEIN project and provides a dedicated regional high capacity and high quality Internet network for research and education collaboration and resources in the Asia region and leverage the e-infrastructure developed for public service projects. It also tries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through enhanced access to education and research resources.

Asi@Connect builds up on the example of regional research & education networks in other regions of the world