Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wireless and broadband in developing world should be a major priority


CNN has recently reported the importance of satellites in providing Internet services to developing parts of the world, especially sub-Saharan Africa. I could not find the story on CNN, but there is a story (Oct 27 2008) by Ian Howard from the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) on the controversy over wireless, Information Technology Centers, and phone-based Internet in areas like sub-Saharan Africa, where there seems to be a bit of a political struggle. The story is titled “Rural communication: Is there still a need for telecenters now there are mobile phones?” from Montevideo, link here.

Barack Obama has talked a lot about broadband infrastructure in rural areas of the U.S. When volunteer workers go to work on projects (Peace Corps, various private or faith-based engineering or water projects), they will need access to wireless Internet in villages and in the fields. This sounds like a significant political priority in conjunction with international service and volunteerism.

I do know from ad hoc stories that typically wireless is available in Central American towns in cafes, but not always in the remote areas.

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