Rob Katz

What Works: First Mile Solutions’ DakNet Takes Rural Communities Online

What Works: First Mile Solutions’ DakNet Takes Rural Communities Online, the latest of WRI’s What Works case study series, is being released today. The full-length business case study, written by two Harvard University graduate students under WRI supervision, highlights how the innovative DakNet technology is being rolled out to the benefit of rural Cambodia.

Telecommunication companies are usually reluctant to extend theirnetwork due to high infrastructure costs, low population density, andlimited ability to pay for the services. First Mile Solutions(FMS) counters this problem by providing telecommunications equipmentthat can cheaply connect rural and remote populations to the Internetthrough an innovative technology: DakNet. DakNet leverages short- rangewireless technology in tandem with traditional telecommunication andphysical transportation infrastructures. Local transportation – e.g.,public buses, motorcycles, and supply trucks – facilitates dataexchanges between rural villages and Internet hubs. This unconventionalcommunication network provides end users with asynchronous access to e-mail, voice messages, and Internet browsing.

Full-length and executive summary versions of the case study are available, along with other business case studies, at the case study library.