Revisiting Steve Song & The Village Telco

Village-Telco-Logo-200You may recall that some time ago we had Steve Song appear as a guest on a VUC call. At that time he was working for the Shuttleworth Foundation coordinating the Village Telco project.

The Village Telco project developed a low-cost hardware device intended to help deploy telephony to underserved parts of Africa. This device, called a Mesh Potato, is essentially a wifi access point with a built-in analog terminal adapter. Groups of Mesh Potatoes form a wifi mesh network. This supports the sharing of voice & internet resources at extremely low-cost compared to commercial solutions.

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Village Telco Explained In Video

Even though I live in a developed place like Houston TX I simply cannot help be be drawn to the principles of The Village Telco. A combination of open source software and open source hardware bringing basic, reliable communication services to an under-served population without interference from incumbent telcos or government bureaucracies. What’s not to like?

Recently some folks have been seeking to sharpen the image and message of the project, to make the idea it presents easier to spread. To aid in getting the word out they developed a new logo, a new website and finally a nice short one-minute video that sums it all up in a really easy-to-understand way.

I’ve worked in video production and broadcasting all of my adult life. IMHO, this is an outstanding piece of work. It communicates the message and potential of the project very effectively. It makes me wish that my college-age niece was still living two doors down just so that I could use a couple of mesh potatoes to graft her onto our phone service.

Great work! Great project. Don’t you need a couple of mesh potatoes?

New Village Telco VoIP-wear From Cafe Press

In this life you’re going to need some clothing. It’s a simple fact. Since shopping malls are actually a form of torture why not buy your clothing online? While you’re at it you can support one of the most interesting and innovative open source telephone projects on the planet; The Village Telco.

Yes, The Village Telco recently opened a storefront at Cafe Press. You can buy a variety of t-shirts, mugs, tote bags, caps…even baby and dog apparel…all emblazoned with very cool new Village Telco logo.

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