In­dian Project de­vel­ops an open source low-cost pro­to­type to pro­vide af­ford­able broad­band

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The In­dian Gram Marg So­lu­tion project is one of the five semi-fi­nal­ists of the Mozilla `Equal Rat­ing In­no­va­tion Chal­lenge’. The Mumbai-based team led by Prof. Ab­hay Karandikar, has suc­cess­fully de­vel­oped an open source low-cost pro­to­type to pro­vide af­ford­able broad­band ac­cess to the In­ter­net in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties uti­liz­ing Tele­vi­sion White Space Spec­trum.

Other projects in the reck­on­ing for the top hon­our in­clude Freemium Mo­bile In­ter­net (FMI) of Canada, AfriFi: Free Pub­lic Wi-Fi of South Africa, Free Net­works P2P Co­op­er­a­tive of Brazil and Zen­ze­leni `Do it for your­selves’ Net­works (ZN) of South Africa.

Mozilla, the non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion be­hind the open source browser Fire­fox, launched the `Equal Rat­ing In­no­va­tion Chal­lenge’ in Oc­to­ber 2016 as part of its en­deavor to help cat­alyze new think­ing and in­no­va­tion for pro­vid­ing open In­ter­net ac­cess to com­mu­ni­ties liv­ing with­out it. It called out to en­trepreneurs, de­sign­ers, re­searchers and in­no­va­tors from all over the world to pro­pose cre­ative and scal­able ideas that can cul­ti­vate dig­i­tal lit­er­acy and pro­vide af­ford­able ac­cess to the In­ter­net’s full di­ver­sity. Mozilla of­fered an award of $250,000 in fund­ing and ex­pert men­tor­ship to bring th­ese so­lu­tions to the mar­ket.

Fol­low­ing eight weeks of men­tor­ship for the semi­fi­nal­ists, on March 9, Mozilla will host a day-long event in New York City on the topic of af­ford­able ac­cess and in­no­va­tion.

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