The discussion of manufacturing a standalone Wireless Marvell 88W8388 mesh repeater in a sealed, weather-proof case should be raised. Re-use of the Marvell 88W8388 volume purchase should make this very affordable.
This would be a simple mesh repeater. A minimum board would be just the Wireless Marvell chip (with required support), antenna connectors, and power-in. This can be mounted in tree, solitary pole, roof top or suitable location. It's open access and always on.
On the repeater's external hardware:
- Antenna: Directional or Omni-directional based on that repeater's intent (Range extension or Point of Presence) and affordability.
- Power: If not able to tap electrical lines, a rechargeable battery storage could be supplied by solar, wind, mechanical charging or other suggested means of Battery_and_power.
Given the price point of the OLPC, it doesn't seem effective to them standing alone in the field (or sending children out) to act as repeaters if a village is trying to maintain a persistent internet connection - even if during just school hours.
Marvell publishes their own universal repeater reference designs.
Note that if this can be done with a single Marvell chipset then an OLPC laptop should be capable of being converted to a repeater.