New Wi-Fi Will Make Web Service Rural

Intel platform can link to villages for less than $500
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2008 4:14 PM CDT

(Newser) – A new device will link rural areas to the Internet at low cost and without cables, Technology Review reports. Intel has tested the Wi-Fi platform in Africa, Asia and South America, and will sell it this year for less than $500. What makes it work? The router and antenna are old-style, but radios beam signals back and forth to make sure data was received.

The platform can link villages 10 miles away and throw 6.5 megabits of data per second—a rate that enables video conferencing and telemedicine. The gizmo also runs on 5 or 6 watts and can be powered with solar technology. "We're seeing a lot of interest in the industry," an Intel platform manager says. "Every time we talk about this, they say, 'We need this yesterday.'"