r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea: Project First Light - the Scottish Adventure

Project First Light - the Scottish Adventure




Fjord have partnered with Ensemble on the “First Light” project, intended to help Congolese people innovate with design-led strategy, training and technology.
Our challenges are to develop and implement sustainable prosperous businesses owned and run by local people, thus bringing tangible human value to hundreds of thousands of people in one of the poorest and most constrained countries in the world.
On the island of Idjwi, Ensemble Pour La Differénce supports small businesses that export coffee, and a women’s textiles manufacturing cooperative. Mike [Beeston, Fjord co-founder] was invited to meet the King (Mwami) of the island. The Mwami explained to Mike that the hard life, and isolation was causing most young people to leave. He asked Mike to try to bring the internet to the island, in the hope that the connectivity might boost the local economy, education and quality of life. Fjord London were tasked to research and develop how to do this.
Directing WiFi long distances required us to develop an understanding of the physics and logistical challenges of point-to-point communication. Making the minute adjustments to antenna position required to get the maximum throughput is a great challenge so we wanted to practice. In order to perform an adequate test, we needed a rural area with little or no interference from other signals, and height. The north of Scotland seemed a good option. Between the 8th and the 11th April [2016], we packaged up our prototype and flew north on a mission.
The Lord Lieutenant of Ross & Cromarty, Janet Bowen, kindly introduced us to her nephew Alex Matheison of Brahan Estates, near Dingwall [Scottish Highlands], who offered us his land to use, along with introducing us to neighbouring landowners, also keen to assist. Along with the generous assistance of Mike Hicks of Cromarty Firth Wireless Networks, we were able to perform a successful test at both 5km and 30km, reaching speeds of 100mb/s with our equipment.
Learn more about our First Light project in  this video

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