Samoa in the South Pacific is the location for what is believed to be the first ever solar-powered cyber-community.
The Via pc-1 Information Community Centre in the remote Samoan village of Ulutogia will address issues of education, health and government for local residents.
The initiative will also provide business opportunities for surrounding communities, and offer Internet access to tourists.
Following a successful launch, the centre will act as a working template for similar IT programs around the world in helping to bridge the digital divide for rural and remote locations.
The solar-powered IT equipment was provided by Taiwanese chip company Via Technologies, which sees the Centre as a proof-of-concept of its Solar Computing, a key element of its Clean Computing Initiative.
"We are delighted to collaborate with Via on the Centre, which provides a practical computing solution for remote areas of Samoa and beyond," said Gisa Fuatai Purcell, ICT secretariat manager in Samoa.
"Via has the capacity and committed staff to provide solar-powered computers, which is a big step towards reducing poverty."
The South Pacific has been largely ignored by global ICT deployment initiatives, and is only now taking the steps needed to build the infrastructure to raise the region's e-readiness.
The area was selected for its multiple local user communities and, like most of the South Pacific, its abundance of sunshine, making solar the logical source of power.
The Samoan centre involved installing three Via pc-1 Power Saving PCs and a pc-1 server, plus a multifunction fax/scanner/copier/printer, all powered by a dual 175W photovoltaic solar panel supplied by Motech Industries.
Solar-powered IT shines in the South Pacific
By Andrew Charlesworth on Oct 9, 2006 10:03AM