The U.S. Agency for International Development has signed an agreement with its Australian counterpart AusAID to co-sponsor a pilot project that will bring low-cost telephone and Internet broadband services via WiFi technology to the rural central province of Quang Ngai.
The Memorandum of Understanding also includes commitments from several US private partners, including World Resources Institute, SRA, Solitech and Intel, as well as Electricity of Vietnam.
All parties have agreed to jointly develop a WiFi mesh-based community broadband network built off of EVN's fiber network in three communes, and to provide 300 VoIP phones and services applications for a wide range of public and private uses within local communities.
The project will kick off this July and continue operations through December 2007.
“We are honored to join hands with AusAID and other U.S. and Vietnamese private partners in this initiative, which aims to improve the economic and social well-being of Vietnamese citizens,” said Dennis Zvinakis, USAID Vietnam country representative.
“Our public-private partnership shares a joint vision with the Government of Viet Nam that every person, family and community in Viet Nam – no matter where they are located, or how far away they are from urban centers – can connect with the international 'knowledge economy' in ways that uplift their lives and prospects for the future.”
The project builds on USAID's Last Mile Initiative in Lao Cai province with Intel, Vietnam Post and Telecom Corporation, and Vietnam Data Communications, which channels the resources of USAID expertise, high-tech US firms and Viet Nam's government ministries and communications enterprises to extend the benefits of advanced wireless broadband connectivity to remote areas of Viet Nam.
WiMAX Available in Remote Province