Cheap Community WIFI using recycled Smartphones

2.6 billion of the world’s population don’t have Internet access.

263 million children and youths don’t have a school to attend.

At least that’s the latest estimate by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU, 2023), and UNESCO (2018) respectively.

Lack of Internet connectivity affects the life chances of those 2.6 billion people.

Opportunities that we take for granted.

Having Internet connectivity could also help provide online education to the estimated 263 million without a school.

So how could we provide cheap community WIFI using recycled smartphones?

At my recent TEDx talk, I explained how we could help increase connectivity, as well as education access (SDG4 target) using direct satellite to smartphone connectivity, via the new generation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

In my talk, I explained how education could be delivered directly via the new technology, to those without a school, in any remote location on the planet (to a recycled donated smartphone).

I also explained how we could provide cheap community WIFI to remote communities, which are uneconomic for telecommunications companies to install terrestrial-based Cell Towers and associated infrastructure.

So how can we provide cheap community WIFI, using recycled smartphones exactly?

LEO WiFi Router
LEO WiFi Router

The picture you can see, is a prototype wireless access point, to provide WIFI to a community cheaply.

The device is placed on top of a building, or even a tree, and receives a wireless Internet signal (such as 4G) and redistributes it to the community, via WIFI.

The input signal mentioned in my TEDx talk was direct from LEO (Low Earth Orbit) Satellites but could potentially also work with terrestrial Cell Tower based signals, from a far distance, with a slight, but easy modification (Directional high gain Yagi Antenna for example).

The heart of this solar-charged device can be a recycled smartphone, saved from landfill, and put to a more sustainable use, inside this unit.

Local remote communities in developing countries can connect to this unit, using laptops saved from landfill, with freshly installed ‘Open-Source Software’.

Open-source software is free to download, and secure, and runs well on old computer hardware.

Who reading this, has an old Windows XP laptop in their loft?

This could be donated, refurbished, and saved from landfill, whilst helping to provide better life and educational opportunities to those currently without Internet Connectivity, and/or a school to attend.

Just imagine a world, where those 2.6 billion unconnected people, have Internet access.

Just imagine the brilliant ideas that they could potentially bring to the world.

Imagine the new markets and opportunities for them and us.

This could also contribute towards #SDG4, helping provide Quality Education and lifelong learning opportunities for all, by 2030.

Thank you for reading this.

Craig.