This topic is for sharing information on using bamboo for mast/tower construction for radio equipment and solar panels.
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Use of towers (masts) and high sites for the relay of wireless radio signals are a vital part of modern digital communications infrastructure. The high cost of network infrastructure is one of the primary causes for low penetration of connectivity in remote rural areas. Installing high masts in these areas to connect to the network in the nearest town can often be the most expensive part of a community network deployment, and there are added difficulties in transporting traditional metal masts to remote locations. In addition many smaller masts are often needed to interconnect households and other buildings in the community.
To enable connectivity to unconnected areas, cost-effective solutions are needed that can minimise the cost of towers and rely as much as possible on local resources. The use of bamboo as a material for mast construction offers the potential to significantly reduce costs and external dependencies, while using a more sustainable material. Bamboo in particular presents an important opportunity to address this problem, being a strong, fast-growing prominent feature of the rural landscape in large parts of the world. There are more than 70 genera of bamboo divided into about 10,000 species, which are found in diverse climates, from cold mountains to hot tropical regions. As a result of the physical and environmental properties of bamboo – i.e. high durability, local availability, ease of fabrication and multi-purpose usage – it is an attractive material for meeting a wide range of purposes.
A video on bamboo masts in Bangladesh: