Intel Builds the World’s Most Remote Digital City in Amazon

Intel, working in conjunction with Brazilian schools and companies, has brought easily accessible broadband to Parintins, an isolated city of 114,000 on an island in the Amazon Basin, CNET News reports.

A tower for WiMax, a long-range wireless technology, was set up on the island and connects two schools, a hospital, a community center and a university to a broadband network…. The new WiMax network could help eliminate some of the problems that come with living deep in Brazil’s interior. The hospital, for instance, will use the link for telemedicine and remote diagnostics. The city only has one hospital and 32 doctors. "Most likely, if you need a specialist you need to go to Manaus (a 15-hour boat ride away) or Sao Paolo," said Carreon. Intel estimates that the new network will serve about 1,500 students and 10,000 community members.

Computing News in Minsk provides additional details on Intel’s movement into Brazil:

Intel aims to extend wireless PC access to millions of citizens in Latin America and train more than a million teachers about the effective use of technology in the classroom. In Parintins, Intel has already trained 24 teachers through its education initiatives. The Intel Teach Program teaches teachers how to use technology to improve the way students learn. The Intel Learn Program provides job-readiness skills to underprivileged students between the ages of 10 and 18.


The Intel press release describes the deployment of WiMax in Parintins as part of a "global movement to bring technology to the next billion people." Video and an audio interview with Intel Chairman Craig Barrett is also available on the Intel site.

 Brazil isn’t the only emerging market entering the WiMax era: DataWeek reports that Saab Grintek is preparing a WiMax roll-out in South Africa. Given the ability of WiMax to "leapfrog" into areas with under-developed infrastructures, it may well be that WiMax will arrive in emerging markets long before it’s seen widely in European, North American and Asian markets.