Wi-Fi is taken for granted by those who live in cites with well-established infrastructures for cable and telephone networks, but the technology is not nearly as ubiquitous in rural areas and the developing world. In light of this, Intel has been developing a platform capable of extending a Wi-Fi signal between antennas situated 60 miles apart with the purpose of connecting sparsely populated villages to the Internet.
At less than $500 per router and an estimated $1,000 for two nodes and the associated backend infrastructure, Intel's Rural Connectivity Platform (RCP) should deliver Internet access at a relatively low cost. It uses just a few watts of power too (5-6W at most), meaning solar power could be an option for truly wireless broadcasting.
The company has already installed and tested RCP in India, Panama, Vietnam, and South Africa. It plans to start selling it in India later on in the year for less than $500 with general availability likely to follow in short order if everything goes well.