Wireless for Communities in Chanderi

Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) with a support from the Internet Society and Ford Foundation has launched a joint project, called ‘ Wireless for Communities (W4C)’. The project aims to provide a holistic, community-empowered approach to connect rural communities to the Internet and benefit from information and knowledge resources.

Through this project, DEF trained local communities to operate wireless technology and deployment of the same for rural connections linking to Internet. The project aims at three components:

1) Training the trainers for technological knowhow of wireless networking
Deployment of wireless across rural communities, especially in clusters
An open forum to discuss best practices, lessons learnt, to educate on issues from both a technical and policy perspective

W4C in Chanderi happened as an effect of an ICT movement called “Chanderiyaan” in 2010. Through “Chanderiyaan” people of Chanderi got a taste of digital tools, computers, Internet, broadband, YouTube, and so on.After that, there was no looking back. By 2011, computer-training centers were opened. Ordinary households, hotels and offices installed computers and Internet connections. Today people avail tele-medicine services, e-ticketing and make use of cyber cafés, and government online citizen services. Through the efforts of Chanderiyaan, computer knowledge and literacy has spread rapidly. There are ICT trainings on Skill Builder, certification and diploma courses on computer concepts, tele-health technology courses, and ICT for rural entrepreneurship livelihood.

The wireless network has a coverage area of 5 kilometer within 360 degree wireless signals. The spectrum is of 2.4 GHz & 5.8 GHz and the height of antenna and the sector from ground is 80 feet. Currently, there are over 40 households with Wi-Fi connections including a couple of hotels that provide a free Wi-Fi service to their guests.

As a result of wireless Internet and broadband, the weavers of Chanderi are also taking their centuries old craft to the world through e-commerce and Facebook.

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