In 2011, the Ugandan government made a promise to provide ICT access to all of the country's 5000 schools, a project to be managed by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC). The vast majority of these schools are in remote areas without any access to electricity. UCC needed a solution that was affordable and could run on solar. Early pilot programmes had used the Asus EEE box, a low power nettop based on Intel's Atom processor. However, these depended on a fan to keep cool and used a hard drive for storage - moving parts that were prone to failure. The case was plastic and the power supply was 19V instead of 12V.
Aleutia worked closely with UCC in Kampala to move from the Asus EEE box to the more fit-for-purpose T1, a computer designed from the ground up for use in rural Africa with a solid aluminium chassis and a fanless design that could handle areas with lots of dust. Moreover, the T1's 8-20V DC Input meant it could run directly from 12V batteries without requiring an AC inverter or even a DC 12V regulator.
Aleutia's local partners provided the solar panels and installation expertise and provided Aleutia's Solar Classroom in a Box solution with 10 x T1 computers and 12V monitors at each school and a custom fanless file server for multimedia content.
Since 2012, Aleutia has provided this solution for every UCC rural school, over 113 schools as of October 2013 and counting and 1243 computers and servers, all running on sustainable solar power.
The mobile phone revolution in Africa has created enormous revenue for carriers. In Uganda, 1% of that revenue goes to the Rural Community Development Fund, which pays for Aleutia's Solar ICT classrooms.
Rather than being funded by foreign aid, it is the phonecalls of Uganda's millions that are providing ICT access to their children