After being forgotten by the biggest telecom companies in the world, including those owned by one of the world’s wealthiest men and Mexican born Carlos Slim, Villa Talea De Castro have launched their own service to reach the outside world.
The village is in the southern state of Oaxaca and is considered an indigenous village with a population of just over 2,500 people. Classed as not profitable enough by the networks, this mountain village had seeked the help of Rhizomatica, civil organisations and universities, who have helped them erect a rooftop antenna, install radio and create the micro telecom service called Red Celular De Talea (RCT).
The micro service has a basic monthly charge of 15 pesos (£0.73p), which is 13 times cheaper than the residents of the countries largest city, Mexico City, pay. They’ve even made it possible to make international calls only a few pennies per minute, allowing residents to call the United States for very little, where a majority of migrants travel to for work and to live.
Rhizomatica who were integral to the creation of the network hope that such a project will break down the barriers preventing other community based projects from working in a similar way. President Enrique Pena Nieto approved the project, with the non-for-profit company hoping it will be the first of many more. A spokesman said “Many indigenous communities have shown interest in participating in this project and we hope that many more can join this scheme”.