As you can see from the network diagram above, Inveneo's long-distance WiFi links connecting NetHope member organizations is starting to be far-reaching. Inveneo engineers Mark Summer and Andris Bjornson have been able to bring high-speed Internet access - critical communication capacity - to eleven relief agency locations with minimal equipment and installation time
Our long-distance WiFi network has made huge improvements in connectivity for NetHope member organizations. Some had no connectivity before. Others had limited connectivity, like a 160 kbit connection that jumped to 1.6 Mbit. That’s like going from 3 dialup connections to a cable or DSL connection.
These leaps in access have immediate impact when 20-100 people are sharing bandwidth at each location. International staff are able to make high-quality Skype video calls when before even voice calls were next to impossible, cutting resupply and rebuilding times by weeks or months.
We want to do more than just build out physical infrastructure; we also want to build the human capacity of local Haitian companies. Eventually, we hope they can deploy these technologies themselves, expanding the benefits of ICT beyond Inveneo's direct reach.
While we're fundraising for long-term capacity development, we're going to start the process of knowledge dissemination with a primer on deploying long-distance WiFI links in Haiti
How to deploy long-distance WiFi links in Haiti
Inveneo has created a methodology for deploying long-distance wireless networks from our many years of work in Africa. So while Port-au-Prince presents it own set of logistical and communication challenges, we were able to install and manage a high-functioning network relatively quickly using these basic steps:
1. WiFi Network Design - make sure your nodes are visible to each other and pointing at the right location
2. Location Capacity Survey - confirming the location can support a network node
3. WiFi Hub Antenna Pointing - aiming the dish for the highest signal strength
4. Installation Trip Preparation - determining what you'll need before your 30ft up a tower
5. Node Antenna Setup - aiming and connecting the antenna
6. Disseminating Internet Access - networking locally for end-user access
7. Network Management - making sure everyone has equal access to bandwidth
If you've read this far, you'll want to read the full How to Deploy Long-Distance WiFi in Haiti primer and how we and our Certified ICT Partners can bring Internet access to rural and underserved communities in the developing world.