NAIT staff and student team to install wireless internet in Peruvian village

Published on May 02, 2023

A Wireless Systems Engineering Technology instructor and student duo are putting the final touches on an eight-month project to design and install a wireless internet system in a Peruvian village in the Andean mountains.  

Instructor Dr. Kevin Jacobson and second-year student Gavin Moses are part of a 26-person NAIT team heading to Pallccapampa, Peru in May that will also install an off-grid solar photovoltaic system in the community’s school complex. 

The project, a partnership between NAIT and Light Up the World, marks the sixth time staff and students from the polytechnic will apply skills learned in the classroom to install a solar power system.  

This year’s trip will mark the first time either organization has installed wireless internet in a remote community where such resources are scarce.  

“It’s really quite remarkable to be leading such a novel project for Light Up the World,” says Moses, whose student capstone project builds upon work done by previous NAIT students. “I never imagined that this would be the type of project I’d be working on when I first came to NAIT. I’m very excited to see the work from my and past students’ capstone projects come to fruition.” 

Without having previously visited Pallccapampa, the instructor and student are working off Google map images, sketches of buildings and photos to design the wireless internet system. Moses and Jacobson have been testing the system at the Wireless Systems Engineering Technology lab on NAIT’s Main Campus in Edmonton.  

“We really don’t know exactly what type of building materials the schools are made of, or what other elements may interfere with the wireless signals,” says Jacobson. “We’re working through various scenarios here to map out plans A, B, C and so forth to ensure we’re successful.” 

They will also work with local Light Up the World technicians to provide training to a local technician on how to troubleshoot and fix technical issues once the students are gone. 

By installing the power and wireless internet systems, NAIT students and staff are helping young learners in the Peruvian village make full use of laptops, computers and printers and access web-based educational assets provided by the Peruvian government. 

“It’s humbling to know that I’ll play a part in helping an entire community access basic technologies like power, heat and the internet that so many of us take for granted,” says Moses, who hopes this project will open doors to working for an organization such as Light Up the World to bring the internet to remote communities across the globe. 

Staff and students from several NAIT programs will travel to Peru in two groups to complete both installations. Moses and Jacobson are part of the second group, which will leave Edmonton on May 5. The wireless internet installation will take place in Pallccapampa from May 15 to 17.  

Quick Facts 

  • The installation project will be in the community of Pallccapampa in the Pilpichaca district of Peru (in the Andes at 4,330 metres elevation). 
  • The two groups will install solar photovoltaic and wireless internet systems to serve two schools – a primary school and a pre-school; the wireless internet will also serve the surrounding community. 
  • NAIT students will also wire all of the buildings for LED lighting and electrical outlets. 
  • The first group will be in Peru from April 30 to May 10 and includes: 
  • The second group will be in Peru from May 7 to 17 and includes: 

About NAIT

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is a leading Canadian polytechnic, delivering education in science, technology and the environment; business; health and skilled trades. With more than 38,000 credit and non-credit students and a 98 per cent employer satisfaction rate, NAIT grads help fuel the economic engine of the province. NAIT also contributes to Alberta's prosperity by helping businesses and communities become more competitive through industry-driven applied research and corporate training. Recognized as one of Alberta's top employers, NAIT provides outstanding returns on investment for its graduates, industry partners, the provincial government and the people of Alberta.
 

Media inquiries

Nicole Graham
NAIT Media Relations
C 780.916.8307 E media@nait.ca

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