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(Rethinking Connectivity In Developing Nations)

What Is DAKNET?

Daknet,whose name derives from the Hindi word for post,combines a physical means of transportation with wireless data transfer to extend internet connectivity to rural areas. Developed by MIT Media Lab Researchers, it Connects villages lacking a digital communication infrastructure through existing communication and transport infrastructure. So, basically DAKNET is an ad hoc network which uses wireless technology to provide asynchronous digital connectivity.
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Can they afford internet expenses..??

Real time communications need large capital investment and hence high level of user adoption to receiver costs. The average villager cannot even afford a personal communications device such as a telephone or computer. Also, Telecommunication Companies are usually reluctant to extend their network to rural areas due to high infrastructure costs, low population density, and limited ability to pay for the services.

FMS counters this problem by providing telecommunications equipment that can cheaply connect rural and remote populations to the internet through an innovative technology: DAKNET
Now reaches 40,000 villagers through various projects.

The main parts of a daknet architecture are:1) 2) 3)

Mobile Access Point (MAP) Hub

Kiosk

Daknet offers data to be transmitted over short point-to-point links. It combines physical and wireless data transport to enable high-bandwidth intranet and internet connectivity among kiosks (public computers) and between kiosks and hubs. So, a MAP equipment is installed on a vehicle which moves in a village from kiosk to kiosk or from a hub to kiosk.

DAKNET enabled Bus, installed with a MAP equipment

A common connection point for devices in a network. Hubs are commonly used to connect segments of a LAN or WLAN. A hub contains multiple ports. When a packet Arrives at one port, it is copied to the other ports so that all segments of the LAN/WLAN can see all packets.

Kiosks are electronic devices installed at public places for example ATM, Schedule displaying Screen on airport, etc.
In Daknet, Kiosk refers to computer centers where systems are installed for the villagers which are used under the guidance of a computer literate person.

Basic Daknet Architecture

As the MAP equipped vehicle comes within range of a village WiFi enabled kiosk,it automatically senses the wireless connection and then uploads and downloads tens of megabytes of data. When a MAP equipped vehicle comes within range of an internet access point(hub), it automatically synchronizes the data from all the rural kiosks, using the internet..

A session occurs each time the Bus comes within range of a kiosk and the MAP transfers data.
The average length of a session is 2 minutes and 34 seconds,during which the MAP transfers an average of 20.9 Mbytes unidirectionally and twice of the same amount bidirectionally.

The average goodput(actual data throughput) for a session, during which the MAP and kiosk go in and out of connection because of mobility and obstructions is 2.47 Mbps.

Store And Forward Network Seamless Scalability

Cost Effective

Lets take a look on all these effective features of the very effective network..

Villagers are able to send message and record videos through the kiosks The data is stored in the outbox of the kiosk, when the mobile vehicle Comes around, it exchanges the data in the outbox and inbox.

Daknet provides a seamless method of upgrading to always-on broadband connectivity. As the village increases its economic means,Daknet enables its inhabitants to use the same hardware,software, and user interface to enjoy realtime information access. low cost terminals and local user interface design.

The total cost of the MAP equipment used on the Bus is $580,which includes:
A custom embedded PC running Linux with 802.11b wireless card and 512 Mbytes of compact flash memory; A 100 mW amplifier, cabling, mounting equipment, and an omnidirectional antenna and An uninterruptible power supply powered by the bus battery.

Since the nodes (MAP,Hub,Kiosk) communicate over the wireless links, they have to contend with the effect of radio communication such as noise, fading and interference.
It provides only non real time data transfer functionality.

Internet/Intranet messagingThis can include e-mail, video-audio messaging, mobile e commerce.


Information distribution/broadcasting This can include community bulletin board, transfer of educational material, public health announcements, news, music, and video broadcasts.

Information collectionThis can include collection of environmental sensor information, voting, census, poling, health records and land records.

Rural Supply Chain ManagementBy incorporating global positioning systems (GSM), the Daknet network can also work as a means of tracking the movement of vehicles and shipment of goods in a geographical area.

Villages in Cambodia, Costa Rica, Rwanda, Paraguay and India are getting connected to the global network using Daknet.
FMS now reaches 40,000 villagers through its Daknet Project. Its actively participating in the development of villages in India and Cambodia.

Bhoomi initiative in India:

Daknet is an electronic postal network, completed with an electronic postman.


Daknets low deployment cost and enthusiastic reception by rural users has motivated dozens of inquiries for further deployments. The larger goal is to shift the policy focus of the Governments universal service obligation funds from wireless village telephones to wireless ad-hoc networking thus ensuring development and betterment of rural people.

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Daknet is going to be deployed and tested in larger implementations with applications that exploit in broadband capabilities.
The current R&D focus is on further lowering the costs of the required hardware and developing a highly interoperable and cross platform software module so that deployment processes can be streamlined.

[1] Alexander Hasson, Amir, Dr. Fletcher, Richard and Dr. Pentland, Alex (Sandy). Daknet: A Road to Universal Broadband Connectivity, Wireless Internet UN ICT Conference Case Study. [2] Alexander Hasson, Amir, Store and Forward Wireless Networking for Sustainable Access in Rural India, M.Sc. thesis, MIT, June 2002. [3] Carol Chyau and Jean-FRANOIS Raymond. First Mile Solutions Daknet takes Rural Communities Online. October 2005. [4] Alexander Hasson, Amir. Founder, First Mile Solutions. Stockholm, Sweden, June 5, 2003.PowerPoint Presentation.

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