This interview profiles the pioneering work being done by Professor Eric Brewer at University of California at Berkeley. He and and his team have been modifiying wifi routers to connect buildings 50 kms or so apart. No extra power is needed, only a special antenna and modifications to the router software. Experiments in Venezuela, India, Uganda, Ghana and Guinea Bissau have proved this technology to work well. If you need to connect buildings, this is a much cheaper alternative to satellite. I see this as being an excellent way to connect local radio stations in Africa who want to share content. It can also be used to connect rural radio stations to Internet Service Providers in urban areas.
Was delighted to see Brewer has been given an award for this work. The Association for Computing Machinery announced on March 15 2010 that the Berkeley computer-science professor is the winner of the latest ACM-Infosys Foundation award. More info: blogs.wsj.com/digits/2010/03/15/berkeley-prof-helped-divvy-up-search-to-many-servers/