Nelso Rodríguez

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From Isolation to Preparedness and Empowerment in Rural Argentina

Nelso Rodríguez is a nurse and one of the founders of the community network in El Cuy, Patagonia, Argentina.

A little over a year ago, there was no Internet or mobile connection in my isolated town of El Cuy, population 540.

After several unsuccessful attempts by the provincial government to bring in satellite Internet – which was of very poor quality, at very high costs – our people began to demand an Internet for all.

After a newspaper article exposed our lack of connectivity, the Internet Society offered to help us set up a community network. There was a fiber-optic cable passing through a village just 50 kilometers away, which also had a tower with an Internet signal. So, a group of residents volunteered to dig the trenches for the anchors and lay the concrete. The Internet Society financed all the material and provided the technical expertise. After making a connection between two antennas, we managed to bring community Internet to El Cuy.

Our network has been up and running since February 2019, reaching almost 400 residents in El Cuy and another 100 in the nearby town of Cerro Policía. This has been spectacular in so many ways!

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