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WiMax "A Weapon From the Future" for Telemedicine and Education in the Brazilian Jungle



September 20, 2006 By

In one of the most remote inhabited places on Earth, the Amazon, Intel Corp. has created a wireless, high-speed Internet network for residents to access vast resources of medical, educational and commercial knowledge through computers. The project is part of the Intel World Ahead Program, an initiative in which Intel plans to invest more than $US 1 billion globally over the next five years to accelerate access to computers, the Internet and technology for people in developing communities.

The digital transformation of Parintins, a town on an island in the Amazon River, is expected to improve the healthcare and education of its 114,000 residents and advance the lives of future generations.

"Technology has expanded what is possible in Parintins," said Intel Chairman Craig Barrett at a dedication ceremony today in the Amazon rain forest. "It is now a place where wireless broadband links to the Internet bring the expertise of specialists, sophisticated medical imaging and the world's libraries to a community reachable only by airplane or boat."

Working with the Brazilian government and business and education officials, Intel and its collaborators installed a state-of-the-art WiMAX network for a primary healthcare center, two public schools, a community center and Amazon University. Intel also donated and installed telemedicine equipment at the health center and computer labs at the two schools where students and teachers can regularly connect to the outside world for the first time.

"We've been blessed with this project," said Parintins Mayor Frank Bi Garcia. "We're really isolated and don't have the conditions to receive the Internet with cables. So we're receiving it wireless, from antennas, from satellites -- access to wireless Internet is a great pleasure for us. This project will prepare this generation for the future."

Intel led the effort in the island city on the Amazon River with support from Cisco, CPqD, Embratel, Proxim and the Bradesco Foundation, as well as Amazonas State University, Amazonas Federal University and S


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