Article

A day in the life: Installing wi-fi at a Greek refugee camp

    Author:
  • Ryan Chen
  • January 24, 2017

Installing internet to bring connectivity in camps is no easy feat. NetHope teams give 110 percent to the effort, and long hours are the rule, not the exception.

December 11, 2016, started early — 7:30 a.m. The camp we were wiring was several hours away by car. Along the way team members maximized the time by checking email and logging onto the Meraki dashboard of already installed camp networks. John-Henry Saxby, from Cisco, checked the link quality and usage of the previous day’s install. He held up his sweatshirt to block the sun, cutting the glare on my laptop as I filed photos from the deployment.

Upon arrival in camp, team leads Isaac Kwamy, David Tagliani and Matt Altman met with Greek military personnel to determine the best places for Wi-Fi access points. My Google colleague, Charlie Hall, used printouts from Google maps to sketch out a diagram for access point placement. Isaac called the group together to formulate a plan for the day, splitting the group into three teams. Refugee men and children watched curiously as the three groups installed access points throughout the camp, and were eager to help. At one point Charlie needed a small object to wedge into a ring-shaped bracket to keep it tight. A Syrian refugee brought him a metal tube with grooves, which fit perfectly.

Read the full story at the NetHope Blog.