The Department of Human Work Sciences, of Luleå University of Technology in Sweden will work with the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), Spain and Trinity College, Dublin, to jointly study the problem of making available broadband communication for areas that today lack coverage, having available neither ADSL, satellites nor 3G.
The N4C project is aimed at further development of Delayed Tolerant Network (DTN) for such areas through two test beds (to check developmental projects for replicability) to study possible techniques and usage.
One test bed will be located in northern Sweden, the other in the mountain area of Slovenia. Some of the aims of the DTN project are to test its use for tracking reindeer, for the use by hikers in the fells, and to gain meteorological and environmental data.
– The N4C project will be a really exciting experience. Expectations are very high both within the consortium and within the European Commission that we will develop a method that will contribute to lessening the electronic exclusion that those living in sparsely populated areas suffer today, says Dr. Maria Udén, of Luleå University of Technology.
– The thought is to create a technical infrastructure in the form of a test bed that can be used in the future, as its application is important for society and for it to be commercially viable. When N4C meets in the middle of May for the official kick-off, not only consortium members but also members of the press, local officials and businessmen will be invited.
The project will begin on 1 May and run for 36 months, with tests in the summer and winter in the varied terrain of Swedish Lapland (Gällivare and Jokkmokk municipalities) and Slovenian mountains.
The N4C consortium consists not only of universities but also of research institutes and small and medium enterprises in eight countries: Ireland, United Kingdom, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden (see enclosed list). The N4C Technical Advisory Board is responsible for links to American internet research.