Industry. Innovation. Infrastructure: Internet Access for Refugees
For many of us, internet connectivity is an essential part of our daily lives. Yet just under half the world has no internet access at all.
In times of conflict or disaster, established communications networks can fail – just when they’re most needed. This inability to communicate can hamper rescue operations, reducing access to lifesaving information or news of the latest developments.
And for those separated from their families, poor connectivity, coupled with expensive data packages, can compound feelings of isolation and make it hard to let loved ones know they are safe.
Images © Jangala
Reconnecting the Disconnected
Initially developed to help refugees living in camps in Calais, France, Jangala’s Big Box is small enough to fit in a backpack yet can transform any form of backhaul connectivity into high-quality, scalable Wi-Fi. Lightweight, low-cost and robust, it is easy to deploy with little or no technical expertise and can combine up to six internet inputs to create a fast and reliable connection in less than a minute.
By maximising digital signal, blocking adverts and capping the quality of video streaming, the device – powered by Arm Cortex-A53 and Arm Cortex-A7 – can provide connectivity for up to 100 users. With the addition of low-cost, simple access points, Big Box can serve 2,500 simultaneous users.
Connectivity as a Right
From remote rural clinics in South Africa and Tanzania to schools in Cambodia and Afghanistan, Big Box is finding application wherever high-quality internet access is needed quickly and simply.
“In the 21st century, connectivity should be regarded as a basic human right. Rescue workers say that the first thing refugees ask for when they make land is not food or water, it’s a hotspot, to let their loved ones know that they’re alive. We’re proud to help make these connections possible.”
Jangala Big Box also supports the following Goals: