Getting to a point where the Dhawa.Net landing page could be launched has been a long while coming.... but equally it is an important milestone in the evolution of the project.
Having brought the first computers to Dhawa in 2011, we've witnessed first hand, the rapid development of IT and communications here.
In 2012, the idea of bringing the internet to Dhawa was floated and, with the help and advise of local wireless pioneer Mahabir Pun, 6 months of planning, and 3 months of work, we eventually established a broadband link in Shree Prabhat School. The move was a huge development for education in the school as well as reinforcing the status of the school as a community hub.
In 2013, in a key development, Engineers Without Borders - UK (EWB-UK) became a facilitating partner. Learning Planet's idea to turn a remote village internet connection into a self serving community-run ISP, serving all the schools in the district, clearly needed some major expertise, and with the help of a 3 month placement engineer, Dhawa.Net was born. Matthew Bowman designed and completed phase one of a staged roll-out of a wireless mesh network, using the Shree Prabhat School as a hub, to connect the schools, the health posts and the various communities within Dhawa VDC. Matt also persuaded Harvard University to donate some amazing web-based diagnosis software, which has transformed the tools available to our local health workers.
In Spring 2014, a further placement was agreed through EWB-UK and in Autumn, Andrew arrived in the village. Building up the existing infrastructure, adding this community portal, and training the local team to operate and manage the system, Andrew has also refined the backbone, and brought in new partners. He's currently adding the crucial software layer to monitor and manage bandwidth use across Dhawa.net, and facilitate preparations for Dhawa.Net's first paying customers. Exciting times ahead.