The PeopleFirst Network connects the remote Solomon Islands to the outside world, as well as each other. At the moment there are 14 e-mail stations in schools or clinics in rural areas. The stations consist of an ageing laptop, radio and modem. The kit is powered by a car battery, which itself runs off a solar panel as in most areas there is no electricity.
At the heart of the operation is an internet cafe in the capital, Honiara, which connects to the internet via satellite. Several times a day, each e-mail station will connect to the hub in Honiara and transfer any messages.
The connection speed is around 2Kbps, meaning a typical text e-mail sent by rural villagers takes about 10 seconds to transmit.
As for the future, the project is looking to move beyond e-mail and explore using the system for distance-learning and e-commerce.
[Abbreviated from: BBC Pacific News]