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Global Opportunity Explorer2019 Insights

A celebration of on-going activities on the Global Opportunity Explorer


Bluetown provides affordable, adaptable and solar-powered internet stations in rural and remote areas, delivering a number of benefits for health, education and governance.

Since 2006, Bluetown has been developing and distributing affordable internet stations to disconnected populations in semi-urban, rural and remote areas. Over the next five years, they expect to use their solution to grant secure access to over 100 million people in their four target regions, Africa, the Middle East, India and South America.

Bluetown’s solution is a solar-powered base station that provides a Wifi connection within a one kilometre range. These internet stations connect to existing internet infrastructure, such as satellites, allowing them to create secure and consistent internet access in the most remote areas. A single internet connection can be used to service multiple villages because the base stations can connect to each other using microwave links.

Because the stations are 100% solar-powered, they do not have to be connected to a centralised energy grid, making them particularly effective in remote areas. What’s more, they are fitted with a battery system to store excess energy, meaning they can also be used to charge devices.

The centrepiece of Bluetown’s solution is the ‘Local Cloud’, which acts as a free platform for distributing information. This has enormous benefits for e-governance, health, education, and agriculture by giving individuals access to up-to-date information streams developed by governments, NGOs and companies. For instance, nurses have access to up-to-date clinical guidelines to help improve the quality of healthcare.

Why you should care

Currently, 46% of the population remains disconnected from the internet. In Africa, this figure is more than 80%. Access to internet can help to improve standards of living in a number of areas, such as access to education materials, financial services, and remote health care.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Good health and well-being
Access to information on the internet can help rural hospitals better manage chronic health issues, improve diagnoses and avoid incorrect medication prescriptions.

Quality education
Electronic education materials can be a great way for schools in remote areas to access educational resources at low-cost.

Industry, innovation and infrastructure
This solution targets the unique challenges associated with providing internet infrastructure in lesser developed economies.