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Sustainable Networks and Systems for the Developing World

Date and Time
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm
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Lakshmi Subramanian , from NYU
Jennifer Rexford
The Internet and the World Wide Web have largely remained urban phenomena and a significant fraction of the developing world, especially in rural and underdeveloped regions, remains disconnected from the rest of the world.

In this talk, I will briefly elaborate on our current efforts in addressing three broad challenges that can help in bridging the digital divide: (a) developing low-cost high-bandwidth connectivity solutions; (b) extending the Web to developing regions;(c) building new mobile applications for enhancing healthcare and financial services. This talk will specifically focus on the challenge of low-cost connectivity solutions for developing regions. I will describe our experiences in developing and deploying WiFi-based Long Distance (WiLD) Networks, a low-cost connectivity solution which provides the ability to achieve nearly 6-10 Mbps over 100s of kilometers for roughly $1000/link. WiLD networks have been deployed in 10 developing countries and have been used to provide telemedicine services in Aravind Eye hospitals in India to 50,000 patients/year in rural areas which is currently being expanded to cover 500,000 patients/year. We are currently extending WiLD networks to develop WiFi based Rural Extensions (WiRE), a low-cost alternative to cellular networks for rural settings.


Prof. Lakshminarayanan Subramanian is an Assistant Professor in the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU. His research interests are in the space of networks, distributed systems, security and technologies for developing regions. He received his MS and PhD from UC Berkeley and B.Tech from IIT-Madras.

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