A shout out from the highest place on earth's base: Dave Hughes forwarded out email from the sherpas working on the wireless satellite link at the base of Mt. Everest on the Nepalese side.
Dave wrote, among other facts, Six parties, who shell out an average of $65,000 a person have agreed to use the Tsering's 4 laptop 'Cyber Cafe' on Everest for their communications with the rest of the world, paying $2,500 per party for the 3 month season, or $45 an hour for those who show up with their own laptop, and $1 a minute for Trekkers who trudge up Kalipataar where the VSAT is (and one can take incredible pictures of Everest and the surrounding region), The proceeds, besides paying visionary Sherpa Tesering go to the Sargamatha Pollution Control Committee, the NGO which manages the Park and tries to keep its debris cleaned up.
Here's the email from Mt. Everest:
GREETINGS FROM THE BASE OF MT. EVEREST
Before I proceed with the message from the base of Everest,on behalf of all virtual yeties I would apologize for being silent for the last few days.
Finally, today,14th April 2003 with the contineous effort of the virtual yeti team comprising of DINESH SHILPAKAR, SANJAY SHRESTHA, BISO BAJRACHARYA, TSEWANG DORJEE, PAVAN SHAKYA and myself combined with constant support and advises from great veteran like DAVE HUGHES and GORDON COOK and DILEEP AGRAWAL, we have been able to link EVEREST BASECAMP at an altitude of 5300m at 1300 HRS Nepal standard time to our server based at the base of KALAPATHAR at an altitude of 5450m) wirelessly by using CISCO AIRONET 350 and then to AAP-1 satellite provided by SES Americom and this is the first email.
Finally I would like to thank all the people who have been helping us to
get this project a success.
Tsering Gyaltsen sherpa
from Everest Basecamp
April 14th, 2003, 1430HRS NST