As the project has evolved, the Village Telco has become increasingly clear on the principles that drive it. Here are the key design principles of the Village Telco:
- Get pay-as-you-go voice services right. Data services are a given on a wireless platform but the one thing we want to make bullet-proof is affordable, simple-to-bill voice services.
- Make a telco as simple to set up as a wordpress blog. Wireless meshes, least-cost-routing, etc. Let’s make as much of that complexity disappear into default behaviours that can be tweaked as the owner/entrepreneur becomes more comfortable with the product.
- Be as open as possible. This is more of a philosophical than a practical constraint. We believe we can attract maximum participation by making software and hardware as open as possible. We believe that Open Hardware strategies devices like the Mesh Potato can change the way people think about hardware.
- Break even in six months. The technology ought to be cheap enough and easy enough to deploy that anyone with a reasonable head for business could have recouped their investment and be making a profit in six months.