Where Africa and Technology Collide!

No Connectivity, No Phone, No Electricty, No Problem

solarnetoneNext time I’m in Orlando, I’m going to see Scott Johnson. He lives about an hour away in Daytona Beach and has developed a solar-powered Internet “hub” system (running Ubuntu GNU/Linux) that he builds to order. In the video below, he talks about the what, why and how of his system. Incredible work, and well worth watching.

GNUveau Networks builds solar-powered computer networks for remote villages from roblimo on Vimeo.


His objective is to bring computers and the Internet to places that have no connectivity, no phone service, and no electricity.

On the wiki, I was able to see that there is a SolarNetOne installation running in Katsina State University, Nigeria right now, providing wireless connectivity and “Internet Cafe” access to hundreds of people. Scott also tells me that they’re in Tunisia and Benin as well, with more requests coming all the time.

Find out more on his website at GNUveau Networks.

(h/t Christian Ledermann)
(thanks to Roblimo for getting me better embed code for the video)


  1. Am gobsmacked! Cheers for this.

  2. Congrats to Scott for his efforts and his advancement of the low-power & energy-efficient computing field! I love his awareness of the different challenges we face in rural installations., and his creative solutions.

    At Inveneo, we’ve been in the pursuit of similar goals with our computing solutions – 20Watt or less Linux computers sporting VoIP calls over long-distance WiFi, all running off solar panels.


    Would be nice to see this setup with a netbook.

  4. Great perspective!

    Helping building an IT infrastructure for a NGO/NPO in RDC that mainly focus on delivering microfinance services, I’m looking forward to seeing more such devices setups. Being able to be autonomous will really help us helping others.
    Keep posting on that topic 😉

    A+, Dom

  5. Brilliant! I had a midnight-cheese vision of something similar, only mine was dependent on mobile dongles and solar chargers. Good to see that somebody else has had a much better and more effective idea.

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