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The Digital Agency for International Development

Loband - Low bandwidth simulator

An open source service that accelerates internet access over low-bandwidth connections.

Jan 2004 to Jul 2012



Internet access in the developing world today still lags behind the progress of the western world. Even in those countries where internet access is available, the connection is often slow inhibiting the potential of the internet to be useful and to stimulate productivity. However, with appropriate filtering, the information on the Internet can be accessed over poor connections. If reduced to its core text, even the poorest connections can deliver Internet information faster than the human eye can read. The impact of this for remote and impoverished areas is profound.

Aptivate has created our own solution to the problem of ineffective, expensive Internet access in poor countries - Loband! Loband is a service that simplifies web pages, in order to make them download faster over slow Internet connections.It is designed to run on a server in a high-bandwidth area. Users in low-bandwidth areas browse to the small Loband website, and then request the site they want to view. Loband then downloads the site, reduces it in size, and then sends it on to the user. This can significantly speed up the user’s browsing experience over a stable, low-bandwidth connection.

Loband website


Who Benefits?

Loband was designed for use in developing countries to enable internet access over low bandwidth connections. Here are some of our users and the ways in which they have used Loband.

Clients and Partners

Loband is an internal project which has been researched, designed and implemented by our very own Aptivate team. We have been fortunate to have received support and funding from:

In 2004, Aptivate and Loband were awarded the Cambridge University Entrepreneurial award for a non-profit organisation. We are proud of our record of receiving as many endorsements from technical and commercial organisations as from our colleagues in the humanitarian sector.



Loband was our first open source project! We did almost entirely pair programming and test-driven development on Loband using CVS version control, and later subversion. Most of the code was written by our volunteers.



The source code to Loband is available for download as Free/Libre/Open Source Software. You may use it for any purpose, modify or distribute it, provided that you comply with the terms of the GNU General Public License. This software is intended to be as accessible as possible. If acceptance of this license conflicts with your interests, please email us at to discuss how we might be able to accommodate your requirements.

The source code is written in the Java programming language. Loband requires no software download to function, works on most websites, and is automated and open-source.The Loband application requires a Java Servlet Engine, such as Apache Tomcat. The only servlet engine which we use for our own deployments and test regularly is Tomcat.

We are also very interested to receive feedback, patches, suggestions and comments from our user community. Please send them by email to

Loband site


Version Download Link

The latest version is 2.0, released in August 2005. If you would like a more recent version of the source code then please email us at

Read Me First

Please note that this text refers to the 2.0 stable release.

What follows is a summary of the README file contained in the source distribution. For full details please download the source code using the link above.

Loband simplifies HTML pages to reduce bandwidth usage. We hope that this will be useful to people with poor Internet connectivity.

Copyright (C) 2002-2007 Aptivate Humanitarian ICT, Cambridge, UK.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

Please note that the project download includes some files which are not strictly licensed under the GPL. These include some of the libraries in the lib directory, and test pages in src/org/aidworld/aidbase/testpages and TestPages.

We hereby grant explicit permission to redistribute this source code with any of these files. However, the copyright holders of those files have not themselves granted any such permission. As such, this source code is distributed WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, not even a warranty that it complies with any licensing or copyright laws in respect to such materials.

If you use or distribute this software together with those components, you do so ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK. You may of course delete them, and distribute the source code by itself.


Please download the source code and read the INSTALL file for installation instructions.