A2Billing have been chosen to assist with the Village Telco project, which has been sponsored by the Shuttleworth Foundation, the same people who sponsor Ubuntu. Read more about this at http://www.villagetelco.org/ and how A2Billing is helping this exciting project.
The purpose of the Village Telco project is best described by the Shuttleworth Foundation themselves at http://www.shuttleworthfoundation.org/projects/village-telco/, an extract of which is quoted from below.
Communications infrastructure is an essential ingredient for economic growth, yet access to telecommunications is often not available and very expensive for the poor in developing countries.
Traditional telecommunications operators use a ‘connect-out’ model where infrastructure is deployed according to a centralised roll-out plan and access is given to communities at the discretion of the operator.
By contrast, the Internet developed on a ‘connect-in’ model, which resulted in substantially faster growth of Internet infrastructure than traditional telecommunications infrastructure. The Village Telco is an attempt to bring an Internet-like ‘connect-in’ approach to the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure. Any entrepreneur with modest resources and technical ability will be able to deploy a Village Telco and this can foster user innovation in communities.
For example, around the world mobile users have pioneered new, unintended uses for their phones. From ‘beeping’ to credit-transfer, poor communities, given the opportunity, will adapt technologies to better serve their needs. The Village Telco is intended to open up such opportunities for local innovation by building upon the principles of openness and flexibility of use.