Sustainable Development by Internet Backpack in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia and Costa Rica

Lee McKnight, Danielle Smith, Alvaro Salas-Castro, Luca Belli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Wireless grid research and innovation - what we now call cloud to edge or Internet of Things cyberphysical systems research - spearheaded by Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) with diverse partners and with support from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Engineering, and Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) has led to the invention of an Internet Backpack which is capable of bringing connectivity anywhere, sustainably. The Internet Backpack is also a microgrid with a solar panel and battery included. This paper focuses on preliminary findings from ongoing Internet Backpack pilot deployments which were initiated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2017, in Liberia in 2018 and in Costa Rica in 2019. We find that by design, the Internet Backpack's cloud to edge cyberphysical platform is capable of flexible and affordable connectivity across more than 11 physical and software-defined/cyberphysical networks, for over 90% of the planet. Further, we find that Internet Backpacks as a service can significantly contribute to accelerating the availability of affordable Internet access for the 3.5 Billion people presently excluded from full participation in realizing their individual human development due to, among other things, lack of Internet access. The paper concludes that Internet Backpacks and other Community Network platforms will likely become more readily available for education, disaster preparedness and other humanitarian uses because of their paradigm-shifting potential for connectivity cost reductions and service enhancements for many people and regions around the world presently largely excluded from sustainable development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728117805
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2019
Event9th Annual IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2019 - Seattle, United States
Duration: Oct 17 2019Oct 20 2019

Publication series

Name2019 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2019

Conference

Conference9th Annual IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2019
CountryUnited States
CitySeattle
Period10/17/1910/20/19

Keywords

  • Connectivity
  • Digital Inclusion
  • Humanitarian Technology
  • Internet Backpack
  • Sustainable Development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety Research
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health(social science)

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  • Cite this

    McKnight, L., Smith, D., Salas-Castro, A., & Belli, L. (2019). Sustainable Development by Internet Backpack in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia and Costa Rica. In 2019 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2019 [9033122] (2019 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2019). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/GHTC46095.2019.9033122