Strathclyde believes that the opportunities made available through internet access should have no geographic barriers. The benefits of connectivity are multidimensional: access to education; options to engage in governmental policies, which can empower and engage communities; and a platform for entrepreneurialism through new trading channels.
Over the last five years, Strathclyde’s Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department has been addressing cost-effective and accessible methodology to bring the internet to rural areas in the UK and Africa in a sustainable and potentially life-changing way.
In the UK, Strathclyde is the lead university partner in the 5G RuralFirst project. In Orkney, the project is pioneering the way to address the needs and aspirations of communities and businesses in ways that 4G, 3G, and 2G have not yet been able to do. Key benefits will be seen in agriculture, broadcasting and utilities industries.
In Kenya, the Mawingu project saw the introduction of high-performance, low-cost wireless technology and solar power. Through the project, over 100,000 people in extremely challenging geographic locations have gained access to the online world since 2016. Furthermore, the very creation of Mawingu Networks as a Kenya-based company has created its own economic impact, providing jobs and investment as well as an affordable service.