ICT in Education Toolkit

Tool 3.1 Infrastructure

Area Electric Power Status


Geographical Area:
1. Does the area have electricity?  YES  NO 
2. Is the area well covered by the electric power grid?  YES  NO 
3. Is the grid in good conditions (wiring, transformers, etc)?  YES  NO 
4. Is service reliable (no outages, no voltage oscillations)?  YES  NO 
5. Are there plans to improve the power grid in the immediate future?  YES  NO 
(If no, skip to question 6)


5a. Summarize the main objectives of the Plans as they relate to the ICT project

5b. Assess the degree to which the Plans provide the necessary electric power for the ICT project.

Will these plans be implemented by the time that the project needs electricity?  YES  NO 
Will the new plans provide full grid coverage of the project area?  YES  NO 
Will the electricity provision be reliable?  YES  NO 
Will the electricity provision be affordable?  YES  NO 


6. In light of the above, what should the ICT project plan include in terms of additional measures and possible energy alternatives to ensure an adequate supply of electricity?
Summarize Project plans in the space below.


Data Collection Information
Annotations on data

Additional comments

 
  1. Electric Power: Regional Level
 
 ICT instruments (radios, TVs, VCRs, computers, etc.) need an electric power source. While electricity is available in most places, there are still areas which are not within an electric power distribution system (grid). Even when they are, the service may be unreliable or costly. It is, therefore, important to  ensure adequate electric power grid in each area of the proposed ICT-intervention Program  and in the buildings that will be used by the program.

Access and review the following documents:
Preparedness of the ICT Sector
Policies and strategic plans for ICTs in Education
Preparedness of the Education Sector for ICT interventions
    Those documents provide an overview of the status of the power grid countrywide.

    Step 1: Electric Power: Regional Level


    The Facilitation Team now needs to do the following:
    • Collect information to assess the status of the electric power infrastructure for each geographic area that will be served by the program (Listed below).
    • Investigate the adequacy of existing plans and what the proposed program should include to provide the necessary electric power
    • Examine alternate sources of power in case grid electricity is not a viable source.
    • Summarize results in completing FORMs for each area. A checkmark next to a Geographic Area below indicates a FORM has been completed for that area.
    The Team may solicit information from appropriate individuals or institutions by sending the FORMs as email attachments requesting that they be completed and returned.

    (Note: If no geographic areas are listed below, please make sure you have completed the list of Program Geographic Areas and Institutions requested in Tool 2.2. ).


    Institution Electric Power Status


    Institution:
    1. Does the compound have electricity?  YES  NO 
    2. Are the buildings wired for electricity?  YES  NO 


    Condition of the Electric Network
     Wiring is old and can be a fire hazard
     Existing network cannot withstand additional load
     Voltage fluctuations are frequent. Network is not up to standard
     No significant problems with the electrical network or wiring.


    3. In light of the above, what should the ICT project plan include in terms of measures and possible energy alternatives to improve present conditions and ensure an adequate supply of electricity in the building compounds?
    Summarize plans in the space below. Be specific to allow for costing and implementation scheduling in Toolbox 5 (Plans for Implementation: Summation).


    Data Collection Information
    Annotations on data

    Additional comments

     
      1. Electric Power: Institutional Level
     

    Step 2: Electric Power: Institutional Level


    The Facilitation Team now needs to do the following:

    • Collect information to assess the status of the electric power infrastructure for each institution that will be served by the program.
    • Investigate the adequacy of existing plans and what the proposed program should include to provide the necessary electric power
    • Examine alternate sources of power in case grid electricity is not a viable source.
    • Summarize results in completing a FORM for each institution. A checkmark next to the institution name indicates the FORM has been completed for that institution.

    To review alternative sources of power that have been experimented with in some countries, click ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF ENERGY.

    For information about energy consumption characteristics of different ICT options, go to:

    http://www.dot-com-alliance.org/POWERING_ICT/pub/Hardware_Options.htm

    The Team may solicit information from appropriate individuals or institutions by sending the FORMs as email attachments requesting that they be completed and returned.

    (Note: If no institutions or geographic areas are listed below, please make sure you have completed the list of Program Geographic Areas and Institutions requested in Tool 2.2. ).


    Step 1: Identify Infrastructure Needs for Audio Recording or Radio Broadcast


    Audio Recording or Radio Broadcast Needs by Project
    Needs Radio Broadcast


    Needs Audio Recording

    Audio Recording or Radio Broadcast Needs by Geographical Area
    Needs Radio Broadcast


    Needs Audio Recording

    Institutional Usage Setting
    (Within institutions such as schools, community centers, workplace, or outside of institutions)

     
      2. Planning for Audio/Radio: Infrastructure Needs
     

    Step 1. Identify Infrastructure Needs

    Retrieve from Filing Cabinet - 2.2 - the document "ICT Policy Program Decision."

    Review the document to identify the needs for audio/radio infrastructure to implement the proposed program.

    Meanwhile the Team should looks at each need, in terms of objective, geography and institutional setting and determines whether the need is better served by self-standing audio recordings ( and cassette or CD players) or by radio transmission (and radios).

    To assist the Team in its assessment, click the link below to review the main comparative strengths and drawbacks of each technology option. RADIO BROADCAST VERSUS AUDIO RECORDINGS

    To summarize your deliberations, click and fill the FORM. Once you have completed the form, go to the next page to complete Step 2 - Plan for adequate audio/radio infrastructure.

    The Team may solicit information from appropriate individuals or institutions by sending the FORM as email attachment requesting that it be completed and returned. 

    If you determine that the proposed program does not need audio/broadcast radio technologies, skip Step 2.


    Audio/Broadcast Radio Infrastructure Plan


    A. Present Status
    Specify the geographic areas of the ICT Program where radio transmission coverage is adequate, useable and affordable now or will be as a result of plans to improve the situation?



    Specify the geographic areas of the ICT Program where radio transmission coverage does not exist and/or will not be adequate during the life of the Project:



    Summarize the improvement plans for radio transmission with their timetable to ensure that they will be in place in time for the ICT Program to benefit from them:



    Summarize present situation of availability of audio recordings and of existing facilities to produce audio recordings. (Places to explore include local community colleges, resource centers, commercial studios, etc.)




    B. Plans
    Radio Broadcast (existing and/or improved)  YES  NO 


    Specify arrangements with radio service, needed airtime, scheduling, and elements that require capital or recurrent expenditure (to cost in Tool 5.1). Provide comparative information about vendors in terms of quality, availability and provision of technical support. Also specify implementation timetable to be incorporated into Tool 5.2 (Master Plan)



    Setting up dedicated radio stations (If yes, complete below)  YES  NO 


    Outline plan to set up dedicated radio station. Include official arrangements, legal measures and elements that require capital and recurrent expenditures (to cost in Tool 5.1). Provide comparative information about vendors in terms of quality, availability and provision of technical support. Also specify implementation timetable to be incorporated in Tool 5.2 (Master Plan).



    Use of audio recording (If yes, complete below)  YES  NO 


    Outline plan to use existing or created radio recording facilities. Include arrangements with existing providers and elements that require capital and recurrent expenditures (to cost in Tool 5.1). Provide comparative information about vendors in terms of quality, availability and provision of technical support. Also specify implementation timetable to be incorporated in Tool 5.2. (This decision will be reflected in the choice of hardware in Tool 3.2)


    Data Collection Information
    Annotations on data

    Additional comments

     
      2. Planning for Audio/Radio: Infrastructure Plans
     

    Step 2: Plan for adequate audio/broadcast radio infrastructure

     Next, the Team formulates plans for radio broadcasts, audio recording or both in light of  
    • Audio/broadcast radio infrastructure needs (Step 1) and
    • Status of existing radio transmission and audio recording faculties and plans for improvement. 
    The Team may download the FORM below and use it as a guide for information collection and deliberation before completing it.

    It may also seek information and advice from knowledgeable individuals or institutions by sending them the FORM as an email attachment.

    Step 1: Planning for Video/Broadcast Television Infrastructure


    TV/Video Recording Needs by Project
    Needs TV Broadcast


    Needs Video Recording

    TV/Video Recording Needs by Geographical Area
    Needs TV Broadcast


    Needs Video Recording

    Institutional Usage Setting
    (Within institutions such as schools, community centers, workplace, or outside of institutions)

     
      3. Planning for Video/TV: Infrastructure Needs
     

    Step 1. Identify Infrastructure Needs

    Retrieve from Filing Cabinet - 2.2 - the document "ICT Policy Program Decision."

    Review the document to identify the needs for video/broadcast infrastructure to implement the proposed program.

    Meanwhile the Team should looks at each need, in terms of objective, geography and institutional setting and determines whether the need is better served by self-standing video recordings ( and VCR/DVD players) or by broadcast television (and TV sets). To assist the Team in its assessment, click the link below to review the main comparative strengths and drawbacks of each technology option.

    BROADCAST TELEVISION VERSUS VIDEO RECORDINGS

    To summarize your deliberations, click and fill the FORM

    The Team may solicit information from appropriate individuals or institutions by sending the FORM as email attachment requesting that it be completed and returned.

    If you determine that the proposed program does not need Video/TV technologies, skip Step 2.


    Video/Broadcast Television Infrastructure Plan


    A. Present Status
    Specify the geographic areas of the ICT Program where TV broadcast coverage is adequate, useable and affordable now or will be as a result of plans to improve the situation?



    Specify the geographic areas of the ICT Program where TV broadcast coverage does not exist and/or will not be adequate during the life of the Project:



    Summarize the improvement plans for TV broadcast coverage with their timetable to ensure that they will be in place in time for the ICT Program to benefit from them:



    Summarize present situation of availability of video recordings and of existing facilities to produce video recordings. (Places to explore include local community colleges, resource centers, commercial studios, etc.)




    B. Plans
    TV Broadcast (existing and/or improved) (If yes, complete below)  YES  NO 


    Specify arrangements with TV service, needed airtime, scheduling, and elements that require capital or recurrent expenditure (to cost in Tool 5.1). Provide comparative information about vendors in terms of quality, availability and provision of technical support. Also specify implementation timetable to be incorporated into Tool 5.2 (Master Plan)

    Use of video recording (If yes, complete below)  YES  NO 


    Outline plan to use existing or created video recording facilities. Include arrangements with existing providers and elements that require capital and recurrent expenditures (to cost in Tool 5.5). Provide comparative information about vendors in terms of quality, availability and provision of technical support. Also specify implementation timetable to be incorporated in Tool 5.2 (Master Plan). (This decision will be reflected in the choice of hardware in Tool 3.2)


    Data Collection Information
    Annotations on data

    Additional comments

     
      3. Planning for Video/Broadcast TV: Infrastructure Plans
     

    Step 2. Plan for adequate video/broadcast TV infrastructure

    Next, the Team formulates plans for TV broadcasts, video recording or both in light of

    • Video/TV infrastructure needs (Step 1) and
    • Status of existing TV transmission and video recording facilities and plans for improvement.

    The Team may download the FORM below and use it as a guide for information collection and deliberation before completing it. It may also seek information and advice from knowledgeable individuals or institutions by sending them the FORM as an email attachment.

     

    Program Connectivity Needs


    1. Connectivity is needed for:
     Surfing the web for general information
     Surfing the web for specific resources which do not change very often
     Downloading pictures, animations, video clips and audio files
     Accessing online asynchronous courses
     Accessing instructional multimedia modules
     Management information system
     Learning information system
    To meet the above purposes, there is no need for continuous connectivity. These purposes may be served by the following options:
    • Intermittent connectivity whereby the above resources are downloaded into a CD or the hard disc of a computer or proxy server:
    • Simulated Internet whereby web resources are copied into a CD-ROMs from a central location that is connected to the Internet. The CD-ROMs are then distributed to the Project centers and updated periodically
    • An internal network for entering data and sharing of information.


    2. Connectivity is needed for:
     Sending and receiving email
     Accessing synchronous online courses
     Collaborative activities
     Interactive simulations
     Independent research and exploration
     Creating own web site
    To meet any of the above purposes, connectivity is necessary. Depending on the frequency and amount of use, a choice can be made regarding intermittent connectivity or dedicated connection.

    Connectivity Assessment

    On the basis of the educational objectives above, how much connectivity does the Project need?
      NONE
      Occasionally
      Frequently
      Continuously


    Connectivity Option*
     No Connectivity  Intermittent Connectivity   Dedicated Connection  

    Data Collection Information
    Annotations on data

    Additional comments

     
      4. Planning for Internet/Connectivity: Infrastructure Needs
     

    Step 1. Identify Infrastructure Needs

    Retrieve from Filing Cabinet - 2.2 - the document "ICT Policy Program Decision."

    Review the document to identify the needs for Internet/connectivity infrastructure to implement each Project in the proposed program.To review alternative sources of power that have been experimented with in some countries, click Connectivity Options.


    If you have chosen Connectivity Option 1 for each Project, skip Step 2. The option of simulated Internet will reflect itself in the choice of hardware in Tool 3.2.


    Connectivity Infrastructure Plan


    1. Are there plans to improve the connectivity infrastructure in the immediate future?  YES  NO 


    If yes, summarize the main objectives of the Plans as they relate to the ICT project:



    2. Assess the degree to which the Plans provide the necessary connectivity for the ICT Program in this area
    a. Will these plans be implemented by the time that the Program needs connectivity?  YES  NO 
    b. Will the new plans provide full coverage of the Program area?  YES  NO 
    c. Will the connectivity provision be affordable?  YES  NO 


    3. Additional Measures Needed for Connectivity
    In light of the above, what should the ICT Program plan include in terms of additional measures and possible alternatives to ensure an adequate level and scope of connectivity to cover the Project geographic area and connect to the institutions? Be specific to allow for costing and implementation scheduling in Toolbox 5.



    4. Provide comparative information about potential vendors in terms of quality, availability, cost and provision of technical support.


    Data Collection Information
    Annotations on data

    Additional comments

     
      4. Planning for Internet/Connectivity: Infrastructure Plans
     

    Step 2. Plan for Adequate Internet/Connectivity Infrastructure


    To formulate adequate internet/connectivity plans the Team needs to review first the following information.

    - Connectivity needs See Step 1 on previous page

    - Status of connectivity infrastructure in the country and in the education sector by accessing the Filing Cabinet and retrieving and reviewing the following files from Tool 1.3:

    • Preparedness of the ICT Sector
    • Preparedness of the Education Sector for ICT interventions

    View Feasible, affordable and sustainable connectivity options (link to reference materials)

    Next, the Team formulates plans for each geographic area served by the proposed ICT program.

    Download the following form and use as a guide for data collection and deliberations. Also you may send the FORM as an email attachment to knowledgeable individuals or institutions seeking information or advice.


     
      OUTPUT OF THIS TOOL
     

    The application of this tool generates the following files:

    These files are saved in the Country's Filing Cabinet. They may be accessed anytime from the Filing Cabinet or from the above list by clicking on the specific file.

    If any documents have been uploaded to the Team Bookshelf, they may be accessed at anytime.

    Please go back to Toolkit Map/Home to continue to the next Toolbox.

     
      Additional Information
     


    Alternative Source of Energy

    Broadcast Radio verus Audio Recordings

    Broadcast Television versus Video Recordings

    Connectivity Options


     

    Alternative Source of Energy

    There are alternative sources of energies that can be used in case electricity is not available or if the electric grid is insufficient or unreliable. Energy alternates that have been experimented with in many countries include:

    Solar Energy: Photovoltaic (PV) solar cells consist of semi conducting material that absorbs the sunlight. The solar energy knocks electrons loose from their atoms, allowing the electrons to flow through the material to produce electricity. PV cells are typically combined into modules that hold about 40 cells. About 10 of these modules are mounted in PV arrays. PV arrays can be used to generate electricity for a single building or, in large numbers, for a power plant. A power plant can also use a concentrating solar power system, which uses the sun's heat to generate electricity. The sunlight is collected and focused with mirrors to create a high-intensity heat source. This heat source produces steam or mechanical power to run a generator that creates electricity. For an example see Resource 3.1.1.

    Wind Power: Wind power has been in use for hundreds of years as a source of energy for pumping water and grinding grain. More recently, wind turbines are utilizing the wind's energy to generate electricity. Like the windmills, the wind turbines are mounted on towers that take advantage of the faster and less turbulent wind. The turbines have usually two or three blades mounted on a shaft to form a rotor. The wind causes the rotor to spin like a propeller and the turning shaft spins a generator to make electricity. Some turbines are connected to a utility power grid or solar cell system. A turbine usually produces 50 to 300 kilowatts of electricity (enough to light up 3,000 100 W light bulbs). For utility-scale, a large number of wind turbines are built close together to form a wind plant. For an example see Resource 3.1.2

    Pedal Power: An electricity generator can be run by a pedal mechanism similar to that of a bicycle. Fifteen minutes of pedaling can run one 11 W compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb for an hour. A radio, tape recorder or loudspeaker use only about 1-5 Watts. For an example see Resource 3.1.3.

    Generator Sets. Small-scale electricity generator sets commonly known as gensets are among the most technologically and commercially mature options for distributed energy generation. Generator sets have relatively low capital costs but high running costs due to the need to purchase fuel and provide regular maintenance. If routine maintenance tasks are not carried out regularly, the genset may break down before its time.

     

    For generator sets with a capacity of less than 3 kW, gasoline and diesel are popular fuels. Genset engines may also use other fuels, such as propane, kerosene, biogas, biofuels or fossil/biofuel mixtures.

     

    Source of excerpt and for further information: 

    http://www.dot-com-alliance.org/POWERING_ICT/  

     

    To learn more about energy options go to:

    http://www.dot-com-alliance.org/POWERING_ICT/pub/Energy_Options.htm


    Broadcast Radio verus Audio Recordings

    Broadcast Radio
    Strengths:

    Radio programs can be listened to anywhere; there is no need for an institutional setting
    With added users there are no additional development costs or cost of tapes/CDs
    Programs can be revised continuously and centrally
    Radio can offer time-sensitive programs such as educational news, directives, pedagogical guidelines, etc.
    Radio receivers are available anywhere, are versatile, and inexpensive; there are also receivers that do not depend on current or battery electricity ( see Resource 2.7.1)

    Drawbacks:
    Radio programs follow a prearranged schedule; this requires coordination with users (institutions and learners).
    Radio programs require an "external" transmission infrastructure
    There may be a considerable cost for air time.

    Audio Recordings

    Strengths:
    Can be listened to anytime; no need for special scheduling
    Can be stopped at any point for questions or intervening activities
    Do not require a transmission infrastructure or acquisition of air time

    Drawbacks:
    Audio recordings need playback instruments (cassette or CD player) that are more expensive than radio receivers.
    Use of audio recording usually needs an institutional setting
    With added users there is a need for additional tapes/CDs
    Centrally revised recordings require new tapes/CDs
    Audio recordings are not well suited for time-sensitive materials


    Broadcast Television versus Video Recordings

    Broadcast Television

    Strengths:

    • TV programs can be listened to anywhere; there is no need for an institutional setting
    • With added users there are no additional development costs or cost of tapes/DVDs
    • Programs can be revised continuously and centrally
    • TV can offer time-sensitive programs such as educational news, directives, pedagogical guidelines, etc.
    • TV sets are widely available in homes and workplace; where electric power is a problem, TV sets use less energy than added VCRs and DVD players.

    Drawbacks:

    • TV programs follow a prearranged schedule; this requires coordination with users (institutions and learners).
    • TV programs require an "external" transmission infrastructure
    • There may be a considerable cost for air time.

    Video Recordings

    Strengths:

    • Can be viewed anytime; no need for special scheduling
    • Can be stopped at any point for questions or intervening activities
    • Do not require a transmission infrastructure or acquisition of air time

    Drawbacks:

    • Video recordings need playback instruments (VCR or DVD player) that are needed in addition to the TV sets. Even when computers are provided and are to be used for viewing DVDs, there is a need to make extra investment in such computers.
    • Since video playing instruments are not readily available on an individual basis, use of video recording usually needs an institutional setting
    • With added users there is a need for additional tapes/DVDs
    • Centrally revised recordings require new tapes/DVDs
    • Video recordings are not well suited for time-sensitive materials


    Connectivity Options

    Technology

    Use

    Comments

    Terrestrial Wireless

    Cellular

    If no fixed lines are available, but there is cellular service, a cell phone with a cellular modem can be used to allow access to the Internet.

    Costly

    Bandwidth is limited

    More practical for e-mail than for surfing the Web

    Wireless local loop

    Rural schools can connect to the nearest telephone network via a wireless link.

    Faster extension and lower ratio of fixed to incremental costs than wiring

    Point-to-Point Wireless Systems

    Point-to-point fixed wireless, such as microwave systems, can provide high-speed Internet access by connecting to an ISP's point of presence (POP). [2]

    May be the least expensive means of getting high-speed Internet access when wireline services are not available

    Wireless Access Protocol:

    This wireless protocol has been developed to make it possible to transmit Web pages and other data to cellular phones. It can be adapted for wireless services in developing countries so that Internet information can be transmitted to low-bandwidth wireless systems.

    Limited web content accessible through this system

    Third Generation Mobile Services

    Third-generation mobile networks are beginning to be introduced in some industrialized countries, and eventually may be made widely available in developing regions. They offer greatly increased bandwidth than existing mobile networks, with the possibility of Internet access to handheld devices such as portable phones, personal digital assistants, and small personal computers.

    Capital cost of upgrading existing networks is high

    Price of access for Internet applications may be greater than for other options.

    Satellite Technologies

    Very small aperture terminals (VSATS)

    Small satellite earth stations operating with geosynchronous satellites can be used for interactive voice and data as well as for broadcast reception. [3](VSATs for television reception (known as TVRO-television-receive only) deliver broadcasting signals to viewers.)

    n/a

    Internet via satellite

    Internet gateways can be accessed via geostationary satellites. For example, MagicNet, an ISP in Mongolia, and some African ISPs access the Internet in the United States via the PanAmSat global satellite system, and residents of the Canadian Arctic use Canada's Anik satellite system, while Alaskan villagers use U.S. domestic satellites.

    Costly

    Not optimized for Internet use

    High-speed downlink

    A system designed by Hughes, known as DirecPC, uses a satellite to deliver high-bandwidth Internet content downstream to a VSAT from an ISP. Upstream connectivity is provided over existing phone lines. This approach is designed for rural areas with telephone service, but where bandwidth is very limited.

    n/a

    Interactive access via VSAT

    Several companies now offer fully interactive access to the Internet via satellite; examples include Gilat, Hughes Gateway, and Tachyon. The systems could be a solution for schools with no other communication options. For example, schools in Alaska and the Canadian Arctic access the Internet via satellite.

    Costly but price of Internet access is likely to decline as new protocols are developed to make more efficient use of bandwidth

    Data broadcasting by satellite

    Geosynchronous satellites designed for interactive voice and data can be used for data broadcasting as well. For example, the WorldSpace satellite system delivers digital audio directly to small radios. In addition, it can be used to deliver Internet content; schools or telecenters can identify which Websites they want to view regularly, and WorldSpace broadcasts the data for reception via an addressable modem attached to the radio.

    n/a

    Global mobile personal communications systems

    Using low earth orbiting satellites, these systems provide voice and low-speed (typically 2400 to 9600 bps) data virtually anywhere, using handheld transceivers.

    Still very costly

    Limited bandwidth

    Store-and-forward messaging

    Volunteers in Technical Assistance (VITA) has developed a satellite-based system, called VITAsat, capable of delivering sustainable, low-cost communications and information services to remote communities. The system uses simple, reliable, store-and-forward e-mail messages relayed to the Internet via low earth orbiting satellites. Using compression technology and software that allows access to Web pages using e-mail, VITAsat can make the Internet accessible virtually anywhere. VITA's two current satellite system have the capacity to serve about 2,500 remote rural terminals that could be installed in schools, clinics, community centers, and NGOs.

    n/a

    Bandwidth on demand

    Future satellite systems are being planned to provide bandwidth on demand. Constellations of low earth orbiting satellites such as Teledesic and new generations of geosynchronous satellites such as Loral's Cyberstar and Hughes's Spaceway will be designed to offer bandwidth on demand for Internet access, videoconferencing and distance education.

    n/a

    Wireline Technologies

    Dial-up Connection

    The simplest and lowest-cost connection to the Internet is through dial-up access using a single standard phone line. A dial-up connection can provide Internet access to a single computer or, by using software on a server, networked computers can share this single connection. However, with a shared connection, access can become very slow, since the total available bandwidth is divided among all the computers sharing the same Internet connection. If two or three phone lines are available, these lines can be combined using an analog router to enable multiple phone line access to an ISP, thus increasing available bandwidth.

    n/a

    Dedicated Connection

    Schools can get faster and more reliable Internet access by using permanent "dedicated" high-speed connections where they are available and affordable. A variety of dedicated high-bandwidth options may be available to schools, including integrated services digital network (ISDN) or digital subscriber line (DSL).

    n/a

    Cable modems

    Some cable television systems can also be used for high-speed Internet access via cable modems. Like DSL, cable offers much higher bandwidth than dial-up telephone lines.

    High volume of users may result in congestion of a shared cable network,

    Older networks may not be converted easily for two-way connectivity

    Optical fiber

    Telephone companies upgrading their networks may install optical fiber for institutional customers such as hospitals, schools, and businesses. The advantage of fiber is its enormous bandwidth, which can be used for high-speed Internet accessing or other services such as videoconferencing.

    Price of access may be prohibitive. Some schools have managed to gain free or heavily discounted access to so-called "dark fiber," excess capacity that has been installed but is not yet in use.

    Hybrid fiber/coax

    A combination of optical fiber and coaxial cable can provide broadband services such as TV and high-speed Internet access as well as telephony; this combination is cheaper than installing fiber all the way to the customer premises. Unlike most cable systems, this hybrid allows two-way communication. The fiber runs from a central telephone switch to a neighborhood node; coaxial cable links the node to the end user such as a school. Developing countries with such projects include Chile, China, India, and Malaysia

    n/a
    1
    Excerpted from Eric Rusten and Heather Hudson. 2002). "Infrastructure: Hardware, Networking, and Connectivity." In Wadi D. Haddad and Alexandra Draxler (Eds.) Technologies for Education: Potential, Parameters, and Prospects. Paris: UNESCO, and Washington, DC: Academy for Educational Development
    2
    A narrowband radio system may be used to transmit and receive user information on a specific radio frequency. See Resource 3.1.4
    3
    See Resource 3.1.4