Connecting the world through free communication
Written by Mark Vletter on 29th November 2017
In 2003 I worked in Haiti for roughly six months. Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world. After an 11-hour flight, you go from a country that has everything to a country that has nothing. In Haiti, I saw what a lack of access to information and communication does to a country and its people. Today, 48% of the world’s population still has no access to free communication. This needs to change. With 48percent.org we want to bring equality to the world by enabling that last 48% to have access to unrestricted communication.
The plan to make this happen
There were a number of basic essential conditions for us to be able to make this a reality: a strong income stream, being a communication authority, and a scalable self-reliant organization. Now that these conditions are met, we can get started on building the solution. We believe this solution consists of roughly three parts:
1. You need a data network. These can be balloons, low orbit satellite networks or drones that bring that data network to remote areas.
2. Then you need a base station there that translates the signal from these data networks into a local network.
3. Finally, you must have devices that use this local network.
That’s easy, right?
It sounds simple and achievable, but unfortunately, it is not. The big bottleneck is electricity. Approximately 15% of the world’s population has no access to electricity, and things like WiFi and 4G demand a lot from it. A new generation of networks and receivers needs to be built that are much more energy efficient. Only then can the 48 percent of the world that does not yet have access to free communication be brought online.
The need for a reliable network
But with electricity alone, you are not there yet. A reliable network also has to be set up. This network is preferably an open source and crowd owned network. Any node added to the network can then be both a receiver and a transmitter. This makes the network independent of commercial parties and even of government authorities. Developing this network circularly also keeps the impact this project has on the planet to a minimum.
The 48percent.org foundation
In recent years we have developed the building blocks to be able to build the above framework. Now is time to stack those blocks! We’re very excited for this to happen and we are setting up a foundation for this purpose: 48percent.org.
The mantra of this foundation is:
“Bring equality to the world by enabling everybody to have access to unrestricted communication”
The first step is to promote the development of the components needed for open communication. We don’t have to do all of this ourselves, but we love to boost the process.
Generating power: the Lightyear One
The decentralized generation of power is a very important component to make it all possible. Looking at the latest technology, we already made a promising first purchase: we bought the Lightyear One. This solar car decentrally generates its own electricity and stores it in small batteries while giving an unmatched range for the capacity of these batteries. The team that developed the car has access to the networks that can make the solar and battery technology scalable and works, just like us, purpose-driven.
Sounds like your adventure?
To help us with this new endeavor, we are now searching high and low to find the torchbearer for the 48percent.org foundation. Is it your life’s desire to make sure everyone has an equal chance? Does reading this blog post already give you ideas on how to make this foundation a success? If the answers are yes, we would love to have you on our team! Check out our vacancy
Written by Ilyas on 12th December 2017
Indeed this is quite of a heavy, but possible endeavour. I amglad it’s coming out of Groningen!
Grameen phone’s story could be inspiring: https://www.ted.com/talks/iqbal_quadir_says_mobiles_fight_poverty
Written by Bram Groenveld on 27th February 2018