When is the last time you heard about “bandwidth” being raised as a development issue in Africa? As it turns out, with the massive growth of Facebook and other social media in sub-Saharan Africa, bandwidth congestion is becoming a serious problem. Vivek Pai, a Princeton computer scientist, has chosen to take on this problem.
The solution? A novel file sharing system uniquely designed to preserve bandwidth, and being implemented in a rural Zambian village. That’s right: a p2p file sharing network is being developed for a rural zambian village.
“By taking into account bandwidth congestion and service availability issues that you commonly see in the developing world, the research puts an interesting twist on file sharing technology,” he says. “When you are in a rural community, what would typically happen is they might be using satellite links, and that same file is going up and down over that link many times.”
How’s that for a new age?