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Dili Village Telco

Name: Dili Village Telco
Organization: Fongtil and Rowetel
Email: David Rowe <david_at_rowetel_dot_com>, Lemi Soares <ict4ngotimor_at_gmail_dot_com>
Location: Dili, East Timor

The Dili Village Telco is the first Village Telco roll out-in the world. Dili is the capital and largest city in East Timor, one of the poorest countries in Asia. Mobile and fixed phone services are available but simply too expensive for the average Timorese. Internet traffic is expensive and limited in capacity since international (and most national) traffic goes via expensive VSAT  connections.

A visual image of the network, created by Dilimesh.

The purpose of the Dili Village Telco is to interconnect the many NGO’s of East Timor, and provide them with a free telephony service. Currently, more than 60 NGO’s are connected to the Dili Village Telco and is enjoying free local telephony.

The Dili Village Telco is run and maintained on a non-commercial basis by Fongtil (Timor Leste NGO Forum) which is an umbrella organization for local, national and international NGOs that are present East Timor. The Dili Village Telco has kindly been funded by The Information Society Innovation Fund and the Internet Society (ISOC) Community Grants Program.

The Dili Village Telco network is used by the employees of the connected NGO’s. Here is the voice of Joao Do Carmo Pinto who runs the CDC, an NGO in Baucau that helps people develop businesses around local skills and products.

“It works really well, as long as the power is on it is 100% reliable. My GSM phone bill has dropped. I would love to see this deployed all over Baucau and would be happy to help promote it.”