Cost effective DSL solutions for the developing countries.
Developing countries in Africa present a graphic picture of the digital divide. High costs associated with serving rural customers are the major cause of uneven distribution of services. Rural areas are characterised by a high rate of unemployment and a poor level of education. This results in a scenario where most of the residents are unable to utilize IT resources. Some people in these areas are not informed about the availability and importance of these technologies in the market. Those who are academically fit for accessing these technologies often cannot afford them. Some of the areas still have no existing telecommunications infrastructure. High deployment costs associated with broadband services makes it even more challenging to deploy such services in this environment. In Africa approximately 80% of the population is living in rural areas, which alone creates a demand for the coverage of rural regions. Leaving such a large number of residents not connected, means poor medical care, students cannot participate in distance learning programs which means poor quality of education, poor performance in businesses, poor farming and crippling delivery of government services. DSL technologies were originally designed to suit suburban to urban conditions. In this research it is shown that broadband services can be delivered to rural people by applying DSL technologies, using the existing telecommunications infrastructure. This will mean significant savings, as it does not need core network investments. DSL increases network capacity to a network, which is no longer limited to voice. With this technology a number different high bandwidth applications are delivered to the homes, schools, hospitals, telecentres and small businesses. The cost effectiveness of these technologies for several reach and rural traffic environment is investigated. This is done by investigating several promising DSL solutions in terms of diverse geography, demographics and other cost dictating parameters.