13th January 2010

Bob Buckle and Colin Howard have known each other since the pioneering technology days of the Stock Exchange in the early 80’s, when the former was looking at the delivery of Topic by satellite, and the latter installing the first digital dealing room into Daiwa Securities. In the 90’s they came together again within the ISP BusinessNet Ltd, subsequently sold to Level 3, where they pioneered the broadcast of Usenet throughout Europe via satellite; and it is this technology concept that they applied to their social project – Bandway.

The mission of Bandway is to deliver education, medical advice, disaster support and trading price information to the remotest areas of the earth, where no other facilities exist, beyond the reach of normal communications, where even cellular radio is impractical.

Working with the not for profit Larrakia TV, based in Darwin Australia, Bandway will be providing 250 schools in East Timor with the hardware to receive the satellite delivered educational material generated by Larrakia. This has been the life work of Donna Odegaard, and she hopes it will be a prelude to acceptance of their bid to provide similar “Internet” services to the remotest Aboriginal communities throughout Australia. Bob Buckle said “As principal of the specialist satellite company Intelcomm I have a good business, and it is a privilege to be able to put something back where all our suppliers and associates are contributing to the social component in an exceptionally supportive manner”. Colin Howard said “education is the most vital gift, and it is simply impossible to maintain the quality of teaching required in areas that take two weeks to walk to from the nearest road head. As Chairman of the commodities exchange Comdaq, I have also been consulting for UNCTAD with the All Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Commodities initative, and seen the impact that price information has on a farmer’s income, who can then bring product to market at a time of good prices, not a time of glut and surplus.” Initially the contract is for one way traffic, but the partners have ensured that the equipment has a two way capability, just waiting to be turned on when funding allows. “Then we can give them full Internet access, even adding things like cellular radio for disaster scenarios, right in the middle of the jungle, or the deserts of Australia” Bob mused. “Indeed, when you consider the footprint of a satellite, I hope there will be nowhere on Earth by the end of this decade where the right to education, information and communication is not extended to our fellow man – especially if they do not have the means to pay for it.

BANDWAY’s™ mission is to provide information to remote areas that are beyond the reach of conventional communications, providing educational, medical and weather data to communities that cannot be supported by any other means.