November 4-6, 2016
Chemistry Creative, 315 Ten Eyck Street, Brooklyn NY

Dhruv Mehrotra


Dhruv is an engineer and artist getting his Masters at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program. His work is political and deals with network accessibility, privacy, and making visible data that is otherwise not.

Presenting with Edwin Reed-Sanchez

Community Based Communication Networks in Nicaragua's Autonomous Region

For many users in the 1st world cellular and internet service is a given, but in many parts of the world this is not the case. Two billion people lack affordable communication and 700 Million people who have no coverage at all.

In Nicaragua, the cellular call can cost up to $0.50 a minute, and the Internet penetration rate is at 26%. In the U.S., a country where the average income is 15 to 20 times greater than Nicaragua, a minute normally costs only 17 cents, and Internet has a 90% penetration rate. For most of Nicaragua's residents, and for many other parts of Latin America, having adequate communication or Internet services requires great financial sacrifices.

SayCel is a social venture that helps communities on the Autonomous Region of Nicaragua's Caribbean Coast to own and operate their own cellular and emergency networks. In this talk we will discuss the history, challenges and successes of installing community based networks in rural areas. We will cover the political, and technical issues associated with such ventures.