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Nepal, Vietnam rural schools get broadband-connected

Posted: 29 Oct 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Vietnam broadband? 3G? CDMA? wireless computer lab?

Qualcomm Inc. and Room to Read, have equipped wireless computer labs with 3G CDMA broadband Internet connectivity in rural schools in Nepal and Vietnam.

Each lab includes 20-25 computers and serves as many as 50 students during a class period. In addition to providing training for students to learn basic computer skills, each lab also plans to use technology to teach other subjects such as English, math and science.

The wireless technology company and the non profit enabled wireless computer labs with 3G CDMA broadband Internet connectivity on 20-25 computers. The labs will serve as many as 50 students during a class period. Aside from training for students in basic computer skills, each lab also plans to use technology to teach other subjects such as English, math and science.

"Access to online resources and educational materials can have a life-changing impact on students. Not only will they have connectivity that enables access to learning materials and communities for the first time, but they will also have the opportunity to gain specialized skills and training," said Paul Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm. "Qualcomm is committed to enabling wireless technology to help improve socioeconomic conditions and enhance quality of life in local communities. I believe this project works to accomplish both of those goals and we are fortunate to be working with Room to Read, Nepal Telecom and S-Fone to address computer literacy in developing countries."

As part of the project, five wireless labs have been established in the Kaski and Kavre regions of Nepal and six labs in Can Tho Province of southern Vietnam. Qualcomm and Room to Read are working with Nepal Telecom and S-Fone in Nepal and Vietnam, respectively, to provide broadband connectivity in schools. Through the provisioning of affordable, high-quality and reliable Internet connectivity to government schools where landline access is limited or unavailable, the wireless lab project helps underserved students bridge the digital divide and addresses the goal of universal access and opportunity in education.

"By providing books and schools to nearly 10,000 communities in the developing world, Room to Read has opened up opportunities for children whose families face a cruel paradox-- they are too poor to afford education, but until they have education, they will always be poor. Now, with the addition of technology and the Internet, these children will have access to a whole new world," said John Wood, founder and executive chairman of Room to Read.

Room to Read believes that all children, regardless of gender or background, have a right to education. By empowering children through this lifelong gift, Room to Read sees a world in which people are able to realize their full potential. Room to Read's programs have reached more than three million children and hopes to improve literacy for five million children by establishing over 10,000 libraries and distributing nearly nine million children's books by 2010. Room to Read is providing opportunities that change children's lives and communities throughout Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Zambia.

"We are pleased to be a part of this important project," said Amar Nath Singh, managing director of Nepal Telecom. "In this increasingly connected world, providing the opportunity for students to have dependable access to the Internet in their early school life initiates a completely new dimension in providing basic schooling needs to children. Teaching children how to take the best benefit from the available Information & Communications Technology opens a new chapter in their fundamental learning process."

"Access to the Internet can provide students more educational opportunities and the ability to build upon their problem solving skills," said Ho Hong Son, managing director of S-Telecom, CDMA mobile network operator S-Fone. "The benefit of this accessibility will help their futures as they enter into a world where most of their peers use the Internet."

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