It is supposed to be an “information superhighway”, but as with real highways, there are still places where the internet, and its many benefits, have not reached. To extend its range, a number of projects are now exploiting the existing and far more extensive road network—in effect, putting the internet on wheels.
But perhaps the cleverest plan to put the internet on wheels comes from India. At “The Future in Review”, a wide-ranging technology conference held in San Diego earlier this year, Allen Hammond of the World Resources Institute, an environmental think-tank, outlined a cunning scheme to provide e-mail access in rural India using buses. Each bus would be equipped with an e-mail server and a high-power Wi-Fi base-station, with a range of a mile or so. This communicates with nearby computers in homes, schools, offices or post offices, delivering and collecting e-mail wirelessly as the bus drives past, so that there are a handful of deliveries and collections each day. The buses connect to the internet when they reach the depot at the end of the line. Given the reach of the bus network, it is estimated that this approach could provide national e-mail coverage for a paltry $15m. E-mail by bus—why not?
I haven't heard about this so far. Seems like an excellent idea. Anyone know more about this?