Sri Lanka’s first outdoor wireless computer network has been installed in a small village named, Mahawilachchiya, 40 km far from the nearest town Anuradhapura.
Mahawilachchiya became the first village in Sri Lanka with 24-hour Internet access. Over 400 rural students will also receive ICT education as part of the project. Now the village has more than 50 PCs and a sophisticated multimedia lab. Most of the computers are located at the houses of the children attending the Horizon Lanka Academy. These PCs are connected by using Mesh Wireless Technology and providing direct Internet and e-mail facilities to the families of the village. Secretary to the President of Sri Lanka and Chairman, Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, Lalith Weeratunga, told that government is planning to launch similar projects in another 30 villages of Sri Lanka during the launching of e-Village project. Students in the rural areas of Sri Lanka have to pay INR 150 for 30 minutes Internet surfing in Colombo. According to ICTA’s Programme Manager, e-Society Development Initiative, Chitranganie Mubarak, Mahawilachchiya is giving the best example for the use of ICTs, which will provide Internet access to poor rural families through mesh networking technology. The e-Village project is joint initiative programme of the United Nations Development Programme’s Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme (UNDP-APDIP), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), of Canada, and the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC). The Programme is administered by the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) and is overseen by a Committee established by all Programme partners.