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Saturday, 15 February, 2003, 13:39 GMT
High hopes for Everest cybercafe
Rebecca Stephens expedition
The number of expeditions has increased

A young entrepreneur in Nepal plans to set up the world's highest cybercafe.

Tsering Gyalzen hopes the internet facility at Mount Everest base camp will open by March.

Mount Everest
World's highest rubbish dump
Proceeds from the venture will support pollution control at the camp, which is used by climbers hoping to scale the world's highest peak.

The cafe launch comes weeks before the 50th anniversary of the first Everest ascent by Tenjing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary.

Mr Gyalzen, a member of the Sherpa community, says launch plans for the ambitious project are in the final stage.

He told the BBC he was awaiting permission from the authorities to install VSAT digital satellite and other equipment at the base camp, which is over 5,000 metres above sea level.

He is already building a hut nearly two hours trek from the camp, which will house satellite equipment to transmit signals through radio links to the internet cafe.

Dream

Thousands of members of expeditions visiting Everest base camp will benefit from the new facility, Mr Gyalzen says.

Sherpa Tenzing Norgay (left) and Sir Edmund Hillary
Fifty years on: Conquerors Norgay and Hillary
Cafe proceeds will go to a non-profit organisation which helps manage solid waste in the area.

Local schools and communities will also be allowed to use the cafe, to develop skills and widen their horizons.

Mr Gyalzen, a 33-year-old science graduate, says he is financing nearly half of the estimated $40,000 project himself.

A number of foreign firms have offered hardware and other equipment.

Mr Gyalzen says his grandfather - Gyalzen Sherpa, one of the support staff in the famous Everest ascent of 1953 - would be happy to learn about the cafe.

It is Mr Gyalzen's dream project and he says he is determined it will succeed whatever happens.

See also:

23 Jan 03 | South Asia
16 Jan 03 | South Asia
31 Dec 02 | South Asia
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28 Feb 00 | South Asia
01 Apr 01 | South Asia
11 Oct 02 | Country profiles
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