Foundation Projects

Dili Village Telco

Rowetel and Fongtil

Dili is the largest city in Timor Leste, one of the poorest countries in Asia. Mobile and fixed phone service is available but unaffordable for the average Timorese.

This project has built a Village Telco mesh network in Dili, which provides a low cost local telephony service. A Village Telco is built from low cost, rugged Wi-Fi telephony devices (the Mesh Potato). Each Mesh Potato provides a single telephone landline to the end user, and is connected to other Mesh Potatoes via a mesh Wi-Fi network.

The project is a collaboration between Rowetel (an Australian IT company) and FONGTIL (a Timorese NGO). Rowetel trained FONGTIL personnel, who proceeded to install Mesh Potatoes in Dili and two other regional sites. The end users love the free phone call service and there is significant demand for expansion. The project is set to be expanded with FONGTIL’s own funding in 2011/2012.

A test call on the Dili Village Telco network by the Director of HAFOTI. HAFOTI is an NGO working on Womens issues in Timor Leste. Picture via the project blog.