How inspiration from Little Lhasa can sort out your network

The Dalai Lama's home in exile, Dharamsala, might not be the geekiest place on the planet but thanks to the efforts of a small team of volunteers, headed by an Israeli ex-pat, the relatively unknown Indian town is more connected than many cities in the Western world.

By using cheap and widely available material and components, Yahel Ben-David has been able to build a wireless mesh network, which is not only reliable and quick, but is also resilient and does not cost the earth to maintain. The design, prototyping and implementation took less than two years.

An article in the latest print version of dotnet magazine describes the experience in more detail. It shows that with passion, technological knowledge and some ingenious engineering, even the most daunting project can be brought to life.

Here, as the article aptly puts it, technical innovation “has been driven by modesty and need, not in the pursuit of profits”. It is another reminder that solutions can sometimes be simple and need not be found in fanciful marketing literature.

You can read more about the project here.