There is a lot of information in this post because I have done a lousy job in posting regular updates. Sorry about that! But great progress has been made. Here are the latest unfiltered updates from Nepal.
May 31 Update
Hello Dave and all FoN members
Sorry for the late response and I am sorry that I missed the conference call yesterday. I was gone to the Netherlands for a meeting and I am back to Kathmandu last night.
The tower that goes to a relay station near Pokhara to connect to Keshavtar and tower for Keshavtar is ready. We have transported the power to the relay. We have to erect them and we will do it in a week or so. After that the link to Keshavtar will be made. The people of Keshavtar have raised US$4,000 and it is available now. We will start the work with the fund you sent and with the money they have raised.
We can discuss with the FoN volunteers as how they can help to this project. With the Internet link up, I think the volunteers can help many ways virtually. Epecially, volunteers can provide online support.
We have people in Kathmandu office, who can explain about our activities in Nepal. Please let me know as when the volunteers will come to Kathmandu and want to visit our office.
We are going to connect Keshavtar soon. I have already sent a pole there and we have just finished setting up a tower above Pokhara to connect Keshavtar. I have attached the photos of the tower that we just have set up. Please have a look.
June 3 Update
Here is the simple scenario of the video conferencing software development project telling
how it should work.
1. A qualified teacher of Math or Science or English will be teaching in front of
the network camera in one of the schools in rural Nepal. Or a
doctor in one of the hospitals in Kathmandu will be sitting in front of a
network camera giving lecture to the health workers. They will have laptop
with teaching materials and a white board in front of them. The teacher
does not have to be in Nepal only. He or she should be able to teach from
anywhere in the world.
2. The students on the other end will be sitting in classrooms in
different schools located in dofferet districts. In the same way health
workers in different villages will also be sitting in their clinics. A
teacher in each classroom will be facilitating the conference. There will
be a laptop in each of the classrooms, which will be connected to the
wireless network. The laptop will have the multicasting or
multidestination audio video conferencing software installed.
3. A LCD projector or a big LCD monitor will be connected to the classroom
laptop and will be put in the classrooms.
4. The teacher or the doctor, who will be teaching, should also be able
to share power point presentation or other materials from his or her
laptop to all the classrooms in the remote villages. Also the teacher
should be able to use digital white board in case he needs to scribe
something during the teaching.
5. The video should be automatically saved in the main server so that the
students can get access to the video and presented materials later on if
they need it. he video will be archived based upon the subject and
6. The system will be hosted in a video conferencing server in Kathmandu
Nepal. From Kathmandu, it will go to Pokhara via optical fiber line and
then to the villages via wireless. From Pokhara the districts that will be
connected are Mustang, Myagdi, Baglung, Gulmi, Parbat, Kaski, Syangja,
Tanahu, Nawalparasi, Gorakha and Lamjung for now. From Kathmandu it will
go to Makawanpur, Dolakha, Ramechap, Okhaldhunga, Sindhupalchok, Nuwakot,
Rasuwa and Dhading via wireless. We will use it in local network.
7. The system should use less bandwidth. Therefore it should have good
video compression codec. Also it should be as simple as possible for the
villagers to use.
Now the followings are some of the things that are already available. As
you see that there are plenty of good ideas and materials in the Internet.
However, all of them are not the finished products and have been developed
for different purposes. What we need to do is bring together the resources
and create a bundled solution. We need to bring together people with good
heart and high intelligence.
Technical requirement should be as follows.
1) Hosting application in local server (Nepal) to reduce the broadband bottleneck problems.
2) The application needs to be run through intranet and internet connections.
3) The application should have the capacity to multi-broadcast (at least 15-20 schools) simultaneously.
4) Customizing the software according to Nepalese context, designing easy interface as per village teachers’ technical ability.