Rural ICT Projects
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Vision and Mission
June 1999, Grameen Communications launch Village Computer and Internet Project (VCIP) at Madhupur in Tangail District with a vision to alleviate poverty from rural life of Bangladesh by means of Information and Communication Technology. The over all purpose of this project is to develop and test models for provision of access to modern Information and Communication Services for the development of rural livelihood. Grameen Communications wants to reach rural people and bring them in global network chain by electronic communication medium. Primarily the project offers e-mail and Internet browsing services, Basic computer training courses, lab facilities, online data processing and marketing jobs, word processing and printing services at minimum affordable cost.

Services of the project
The project is providing the following services, which could be treated as a milestone to provide benefits of Information and Communication Technology to isolated regions:
  • Information services
  • Information regarding health, education, agriculture, environment, job,nutrition etc are now within the reach of rural people. Access to the product price information of the market.

  • Email Facilities
  • Rural peoples are sending and receiving email to contact with family members, friends, and relatives stay away, and local & international organizations instantly at low cost.

  • Training course on computer
  • Basic course on computer, operating system, typing tutorial, MS Word, MS Excel and higher courses on Visual Basic, Web Designing and Development , Graphics Designing and Hardware Trouble Shooting etc. are ongoing.

  • Word Processing and Printing Services
  • Villagers now have the facilities to write letters, resumes, applications, and making documents like newsletters, advertisements and announcements.

  • Computer lab facilities
  • Providing computer lab facility to the schools and colleges. Students of schools and colleges are interacting with the center for the computer course of their SSC (Secondary School Certificate) and HSC (Higher School Certificate) examination.

  • Children Education
  • Educational program for the children, like learning of alphabets and words, quizzes, puzzles, painting etc. There is also a gaming hour for them.

  • Publishing Services
  • More difficult word processing work like small newspapers and magazines are being done with the technical help of Grameen Communications staffs.

VCIP Site Location
The location of VCIP is about 160 kilometers away from Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. This was treated as pilot. The pilot can be said successful as this created notable impact on the local people. People from every demographic segment are using the center for education, publication, e-mailing etc. Financially, Modhupur is now able to cover its operating costs.

A replication of VCIP has started at Mirzapur, Tangail from middle of 2001. Services offered are similar with an exceptional advantage of serving the population with Internet Services. Financial Support from Grameen Trust covered the costs of establishment of this center. First baseline research is already done(for more info visit VCIP) and midterm research is on going to dig out socio-economic changes expected to occur and effect on poverty alleviation due to the services offered from this center. This center is known as Grameen Digital Center (GDC) Project and ultimate goal is to do research on poverty alleviation through technology intervention.

GDC Site Location
The suitability of this location is proved. This is a place where Virtual Electronic communication System was a fantasy before establishment of GDC. From technical point of view Mirzapur is in reachable distant from GC by single point-to-point Radio Wave Link.

Modhupur is connected with Internet via land phone, which is dial-up connection. The connectivity is not stable and interruption between communication is observed. Also, the speed is not satisfactory. Large files can not be sent easily.

Mirzapur is connected to Cyber Space via GC VSAT. Network between GC and Mirzapur is through ?“Radio Wave Link?”. This network solution is less costly and faster than general dialup connection. This could be a model network solution to connect rural livelihood to global network.