Rural Telephony: A Socio-Economic Case Study
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has the potential to bring in development to rural areas in the third world. Any deployment of technology however should be backed by a positive economic activity to be sustainable. This paper reports on experience with the economics, as well as the social aspects of Voice-over-IP (VoIP) as a service. In Jan 2003, the authors established a Wi-Fi link from a site with wired Internet connection to a remote village site. On learning the demand for a telephone facility at the village, they setup a VoIP service. The setup has been running with reasonable success since then. The authors have collected a wide variety of statistics on the usage of the service.