Internet in remote places

Technology and the internet go hand in hand. So when it was time to plan our 2014 venue for Outilingua, we needed to go somewhere with reliable Internet. While we do our best to prepare for poor connectivity (see ) we still have a basic dependence on the Internet to do our job effectively.

So as you can imagine, we made sure we'd have a decent connection in Kara, Togo. The word was that the internet was reasonable there, but we made extra sure. We purchased two GSM modems in advance that we would load up with a month's worth of unlimited Internet, and then we'd somehow add them to the existing connection, either as backup or as a way to balance the load of 30 devices all connecting at once. These were set up and waiting for us when we arrived on Monday at 2pm.

But, wouldn't you know, the Internet in the town of Kara was cut completely just two hours before our arrival by bus from the capital. The center manager was completely baffled, because everything was working great just before our arrival. They called up the company, and it appeared that a major internet cable had been cut, taking all Internet service down from a point further south to the north of the country. Even the banks were slowed way down due to inability to process the transactions correctly. Whether a cable was actually cut or not, we can't say. it seems to be the standard excuse when the Internet goes down in West Africa.

Well, I'm no dummy. I am pretty convinced that what we had hoped to accomplish in our little Outilingua conference was Kingdom-shattering enough to have repercussions from the enemy. So, via cell phone I contacted Priscilla and she contacted our prayer supporters, and people started praying.

At 11am the following day, the Internet was restored, and we were able to get some training materials that we had needed off the Internet, as well as demonstrate the synchronization capabilities of our Bible translation software. We know that God's Kingdom will prevail, and we're even preparing for the next blackout... if it happens, we'll be ready.

For the technically inclined, here is our current setup:

We have two TP-Link GSM routers. Each one has a 3G connection to the Internet, and I was able to bridge them together on a single subnet. To that, we have the wiki tablet attached. The internet is slow at times, but the pages on the wiki tablet come up quickly and we can host all of our training materials on them, only going out to the slower Internet when necessary.

Image icon TP-Link GSM Router32.66 KB