Science News

Indians Make the Connection...

Sun, 18th Nov 2001

Part of the show Medicine in the Tropics

90% of India's population live in remote villages and don't even have access to telephones, let alone to the internet. But now researchers in Madras have worked out a cheap way of connecting rural communities to the web. They've designed an internet kiosk which doesn't need cables and costs the same amount to install as a single telephone line - that's about 40 000 rupees (a few hundred pounds). Internet access will transform the lives of millions of Indian villagers. N-logue, the company that have designed the new kiosk, equip all their PC's with Indian language software to make them accessible to everyone. The new kiosks will also provide employment in rural areas - young entrepreneurs without much capital will be able to afford to set them up. These local businessmen could earn over 4000 rupees a month - that's just over £50. It doesn't sound like much but it's enough to make them rich men in their villages.

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