Interesting parallel to Sri Lanka’s Mahavilachchiya experiment. The only worrisome aspect is the fact that it is a fully subsidized project. I guess that they’ll spend more on evaluation only than the total spent on Mahavilachchiya including the hardware. The important thing is that all these projects need to be monitored, to see how they do after the subsidies end.
The project in Lao Cai illustrates the trends of joint cooperation between vendors, operators and governments to tap new opportunities for economic development.
Intel Corp., the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Vietnam Data Communications, a local service provider that is part of Vietnam Post and Telecom Group (VNPT), joined together last year to deploy WiMAX in the rural agricultural province of 600,000 comprised of 25 different ethnic groups. Lao Cai is located in a mountainous area of northern Vietnam, abutting the Chinese border. There had been some limited fixed-line telephone service and DSL broadband available within the city of Lao Cai, but even these services disappeared for the bulk of the population when they stepped outside the immediate town borders.
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