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FabFi is an open-source, FabLab-grown system using common building materials and off-the-shelf electronics to transmit wireless ethernet signals across distances of up to several miles. With Fabfi, communities can build their own wireless networks to gain high-speed internet connectivity---thus enabling them to access online educational, medical, and other resources.
Introduction[edit | edit source]
In January 2009, the Jalalabad FabLab demonstrated the capability of the FabFi system by bringing high-speed internet to a village, hospital, university, and a non-governmental organization in Jalalabad, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan. These low-cost, locally-produced networks can be easily spread across isolated villages and towns, placing them in touch with the outside world and facilitating socio-economic development from the ground up. After a month of intensive training and practical experience, the Jalalabad FabLabbers are well on their way to self-sufficiency in the maintenance and expansion of their own local network, with a long list of locations in line to be linked up.
Jalalabad's longest link is currently 2.41 miles, between the FabLab and the water tower at the public hospital in Jalalabad, transmitting with a real throughput of 4.5Mbps (compared to 22Mbps ideal-case for a standards compliant off-the-shelf 802.11g router transitting at a distance of only a few feet). The system works consistently through heavy rain, smog and a couple of good sized trees.