ISRO to Launch Satellite to Link Computers in Rural India

Tech2 reports that ISRO (Indian Space Research Institute) will launch a dedicated satellite GSAT-4 in June 2008 that will connect computers in remote villages across the country for accessing the Internet and transferring data.

The on-board digital switch in the satellite will be able to select data from computer and distribute to other computers, depending on the connectivity. The project is estimated to cost about Rs.2.5 billion, including Rs.1 billion to build the satellite.

As of today, transponders are used for sending up signals and relaying them as it is. GSAT-4 will provide connection with large bandwidth for point-to-point connectivity.

The project will be launched on a pilot basis to provide satellite-based connectivity in a few hundred villages. The programme will be later extended to cover about 100,000 villages, especially in remote and inaccessible areas of the country, which do not have any form of connectivity.

This was announced by G Madhavan Nair, Chairman of ISRO, at the international conference on e-science and grid computing. The project will help to reach out to villages and to make sure rural people benefit from advanced technology of computers, database and applications.

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