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XOneFi: Equitable, affordable Internet access for remote and underserved areas

Jan 31 , 2023
@UNICEF/Andrew Esiebo
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XMesh was created to provide equitable Internet access for all communities, especially underserved ones around the globe, using blockchain technologies. The first challenge for XMesh was focusing on the market in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa yet with a significant broadband gap. Aligned with the Nigerian government’s broadband plan to improve coverage, XMesh is building a product called XOneFi, the first decentralized WiFi sharing platform that allows small businesses or private proprietors to become mini-Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for their communities.


High-speed Internet access is essential to modern society, offering invaluable education opportunities and inspiring future generations. Unfortunately, most ISPs find it too costly and financially unviable to cover sparsely populated and/or low-income regions.


According to International Telecommunications Union (ITU)’s report, only 23 percent of Nigerians and other Africans in rural areas used the Internet in 2022. In many rural communities, satellite Internet is the only viable option for broadband access. But a satellite Internet subscription is designed for one household and often too costly (a typical 30 mbps satellite connection can cost $40 per month, while $60 per month is the minimum wage for Nigerian workers), which is unreachable for rural communities around the country.


To bridge the digital divide and provide high-quality Internet (for example, 100 mbps) to the remote community, we created XOneFi to foster a global decentralized wireless community network based on satellite and blockchain technology. Our network enables small businesses and individuals to become mini-Internet providers to deliver affordable high-speed Internet to their communities. It creates a fair and equitable community solution to address the Internet access inequality, and thus help bridge the global digital divide.   


XOneFi drives down the cost of broadband wireless connectivity by serving more users with one satellite Internet subscription. XOneFi also provides WiFi management and payment gateways for the entire network using mobile apps.


The solution is built upon the sharing economy model. We provide the technology solutions to offer affordable high-speed satellite Internet to underserved communities. The users of XOneFi includes the XOneFi providers and XOneFi clients. The providers subscribe to the satellite Internet service and serve as mini-ISP to provide Internet connectivity through WiFi mesh networks. Meanwhile, clients connect to XOneFi routers and gain access to broadband services. Using ride-share service Uber as an analogy, XOneFi offers a platform for the providers and the clients to conduct business operations by offering and receiving broadband Internet services through the XOneFi platform.


After its development and deployment efforts are sustained, we will be subsidizing the XOneFi installation costs in schools and other essential public services with a lower transaction commission.


Why blockchain is at the core of XoneFi:

  • It removes the reliance on intermediaries as in traditional business models, which allows the customers to have more confidence in using the XOneFi services.

  • It allows for the creation of secure, transparent, and immutable record-keeping systems. XOneFi uses blockchain to create a secure and transparent record of transactions. Because blockchains are decentralized and distributed, they are resistant to tampering and revision, making them an ideal platform for creating and maintaining records of transactions.

  • It is used to create secure and verifiable digital identities for our customers to enable cross-domain authentication in the WiFi sharing ecosystem.

  • It is used to facilitate fast, secure, and transparent financial transactions without the need for intermediaries. XOneFi uses blockchain to support payment management using the Ethereum infrastructure, allowing business (the “provider”) to collect micropayments using cryptocurrency tokens.

XMesh will validate the product by launching and evaluating solutions, incorporating invaluable user feedback from a range of users.

There are currently no similar solutions as XOneFi in the telecommunication space. Our value proposition to reduce the cost of satellite Internet by enabling customers to share their connectivity is unique. Technically, XOneFi, using blockchain technology, unifies free, paid, enterprise, pay-for-data, pay-for-time, and private connections under a decentralized cross-domain authentication protocol that uses a single decentralized identity. It uses a smart contract as a guarantor of protocols for authentication and session management. XOneFi lets the client pay automatically from a consolidated decentralized account using predetermined secure policies.                                  


Open Source               

Making our solution Open Source can lead to a larger and more diverse user and developer community. Since the source code is openly available, anyone can contribute to the development and improvement of the software. This can lead to a more robust and reliable XOneFi product, as it has been tested and reviewed by a larger group of people. Being Open Source can also mean being more cost-effective for our customers. Moreover, Open Source technology can foster collaboration and innovation, enabling developers to build upon and improve existing software rather than starting from scratch. This can help accelerate the development of new technologies and solutions. Also, with Open Source, the inner workings of the software are transparent, which can help build trust with users and stakeholders. Such trust is essential to the success of such an ambitious project to address the digital divide at scale and in such a large geographic area. Finally, the Open Source model allows for many eyes to review the code, which can help identify and fix security vulnerabilities more quickly.



The way ahead

XMesh will use the UNICEF Venture Fund investment to develop our XOneFi technology and start the pilot deployment in Nigeria. The investment will help our business get off the ground and be used for building a team, marketing, and promoting the business. The goal is to use the investment to generate traction and achieve key milestones that will make the business more attractive to potential follow-on investors. This involves launching XOneFi, and achieving a certain level of revenue or user growth. By demonstrating progress and success, the business can use the investment as leverage to raise additional funding from follow-on investors.


We are incredibly excited to be a part of a larger cohort of innovators and problem solvers in the blockchain space. We would like to collectively work on educating young people about blockchain technology and decentralized token economy models. We look forward to meeting with and learning from, other cohort members and mentors who are impacting millions of children around the world.

“The Fund will help launch XOneFi in Nigeria and help achieve a certain level of user growth while offering equitable Internet access in underserved communities.”
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