While we are proud of our successes to date, we also realize there are many areas where we can improve the network. In particular, we would like to concentrate on the following areas as we move forward. Moreover, we would like to adopt new technologies that are emerging in the market. For example, there was no mobile services in any of the rural areas when we started the project in 2002. Now the mobile service is expanding in the rural area of Nepal. Nepal Telecom has also introduced WiMax to provide Internet services in rural areas, however, they are moving very slowly. Depending upon the situation we will work with different technoligues as well.
1. Provide additional resources needed for the tele-teaching and telemedicine installation: The goal is to make live tele-teaching a viable educational opportunity for students in the community. While we have invested in some of the necessary technology, further work and investment is needed to reach a point where the live tele-teaching works perfectly helping to address the shortage of qualified teachers. The major investment that will be required for tele-teaching is buying LCD projectors, faster computers for each classroom, and high resolution audio-video conferencing equipment.
2. Run training programs to implement local e-commerce program effectively in more villages:
Students of Gandaki College of Engineering and Science have developed a webbased software platform for the local e-commerce. This program has been implemented in some of the villages. The idea of local e-commerce is to let the villagers provide the information about their product such as goat, cow, buffalo, oxen, potato, vegetable etc,to others. No additional investment will be required for this program. With the avaibality of Internet, it has been possible to run money transfer service in the villages. Other than money transfer service, our future plan is to provide e-banking services to the villages. For that we are discussing with the commercial banks in the cities. We hope to have some e-banking services in a few villages by the end of 2016.
3. Provide quality of Internet services: Internet is still very expensive in Nepal. Just to get 1 Mbps of dedicated bandwidth, it costs almost US$100 per month. Right now we have leased 5 Mbps Internet from World Link. With so many users sharing a 5 Mbps Internet connection, Internet access is becoming slow. The plan is to upgrade this connection to at least 30 Mbps soon. Moreover, we plan to put more equipment to backup power at the relay stations and communication centers to increase performance and uptime.
4. Extend the network and VoIP phone service to more villages: We are planning to bring VoIP phone services to the people of the remote region, where there is no mobile coverage. For that we are finding ways to do it in Manaslu region of Nepal. We are also looking for different option such as Open BTS, or Sip phone services etc.
5. Organize training programs for interested people to help replicate the network: The project has gotten good publicities in Nepal. Therefore several people have shown their interests to replicate such network in their districts. In order to encourage people to replicate the project in different parts of Nepal formal training programs will be organized in different parts of the country. For the training purpose, a handbook in simple Nepali language has already been published.
6. Develop a formal web application dedicated to the purposes of tele -medicine:
Another important plan is to develop a simple 'portal' written in Java and PHP that contains the followings inside a single instance of a web browser: Some works has already been started for this using Open Source.
-Two video windows, one of each peer
-A two-way text chat window, for exchange of prescriptions, diagnoses
-An information/status window filled by the server providing information to each
endpoint about the status of the connection and the name and VoIP phone extension
of the remote party.
7. Add redundancy and backup to the network services: The plan is to add an additional server, placed at the two more places that would maintain a full copy of the server in Pokhara and Kathmandu as well as run a duplicate set of services. Should the server go or the link goes down to Pokhara, the network would still be fully operational.
7. We are doing pilot project for building rural wireless broadband network using a combination of TW White Space technology and WiFi technology in 2016. The coverage of TV White space technology is a lot better than that of WiFi technology. Also TVWS technology works in non or near line of sight environment and in an area with dense forest. Therefore it will be lot easier to bring Internet in rural Nepal using TVWS technology.