Intel Installs WiMax on Remote Amazon Island

Intel will spend US$1 billion over the next five years with its World Ahead Program to help close the digital divide between developed and developing nations. Though Intel previously tested WiMAX in developing countries, the Parintins linkup is the first full-fledged installation under the program since it was announced in May.

Intel Corp. chairman Craig Barrett traveled to an isolated Amazon River island city on Wednesday to launch wireless Internet access with the company’s WiMAX technology, using a satellite link to beam bandwidth to a place where even electricity is hard to come by.

Intel’s World Ahead Program, which promotes the use of computers in public areas in developing countries, bankrolled the installation of a WiMAX tower and five spots in the city of Parintins where students, teachers and doctors will now have fast Internet connections for the first time.

Parintins, about 2,550 kilometers (1,600 miles) north of Brazil’s industrial and financial hub of Sao Paulo, is home to more 114,000 people but has no roads linking it to other cities, so the only way to get there is by boat or airplane.

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