A project to test WiMAX communications in the remote and mountainous Lao Cai region of Vietnam, carried out by incumbent Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) in partnership with Intel and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), has reached the end of its first phase to evaluate the wireless technology and the demand for it. The programme started on 27 October 2006 in 19 sites; six schools, three public sites, two health stations, five administrative agencies, two small enterprises and one farming family. All were provided with computers and VoIP (voice over internet protocol) telephones. Internet access at these points was free of charge for all. The project will now enter a second phase, with WiMAX technology installed in the remote Ta Van valley, home to around 700 people. Due to the topography of the valley, there are currently only two fixed phone lines installed there. Ten sites in the valley, including a school, a health station, a guest house and some family homes will be connected to the internet via WiMAX. If phase two is successful, WiMAX technology will be deemed suitable for future rural telecoms rollouts.