Digital Divide

28 August 2011

africa.slow: The last continent without fast, easy and cheap internet access The Economist

Sierra Leone's single largest link to the internet sits on a ridge in the west of the capital, Freetown. Behind a red wall topped with razor wire several satellite dishes point skyward. The surrounding district is called Wilberforce, after the 18th-century British politician who campaigned against the slave trade. However, the digital connection maintained by Airtel, a mobile-phone company, is not free: it costs $89,000 a month.

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22 August 2011

OLPC laptops promise a future in Doomadgee The Australian

Small, cheap, neon-green computers with perky "dingo ears" are helping to boost attendance, literacy and numeracy levels in one of Australia's most remote schools.

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07 August 2011

Millions of poor people will have mobile phone numbers under UN-backed scheme United Nations

Three million poor people in Africa and South Asia, the majority of them women, will gain access to low-cost mobile phone numbers as part of technology firm Movirtu's partnership with the United Nations-backed initiative that enlists the private sector in efforts to fight poverty.

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05 August 2011

Facebook Comes Before Tap Water as India's Poor Get Smartphones Bloomberg

In a two-room shanty with no running water in northern Mumbai, Darshana Verma makes tea on a small stove. On a bench nearby, her 18-year-old son, Vishal, messages Facebook friends on the keypad of his Nokia smartphone.

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13 June 2011

Bringing broadband to the world's poorest communities International Telecommunication Union

Governments around the world need to rapidly formulate and implement national multi-sectoral broadband plans - or risk being seriously disadvantaged in today's increasingly high-speed digital environment, according to a new report released today by the Broadband Commission for Digital Development at its third meeting, held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

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UN report shows broadband potential for economic and social development United Nations

Broadband telecommunications have the potential to spur rapid economic growth and facilitate job creation, according to a United Nations reported unveiled today, which urges countries to implement national broadband plans or risk losing the benefits of the global high-speed digital communications.

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18 May 2011

UN chief underlines the role of information technologies in accelerating development, for rural people United Nations

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today underlined the role of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in accelerating socio-economic development, highlighting their potential to enable the delivery of basic social services to even the remotest areas of the world.

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16 May 2011

‘Mobile miracle’ continues to transform lives in the world’s poorest nations but those living in LDCs are still mostly offline International Telecommunications Union

People living in the poorest countries in the world are benefiting from a 'mobile cellular miracle' which has seen access to voice and simple data connectivity rise from an LDC average of 1.2% of the population to almost 30% in just ten years, according to figures released by ITU at the LDC IV conference this week.

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12 April 2011

Address the US Digital Divide in the Cost of Wireless Huffington Post

Too often, broadband policy is talked about in terms of "access" to providers, as if making a broadband option available is enough. But in a speech at the Free Press conference, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn made it clear the issue has to include cost as well:

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11 April 2011

UN forms partnership to train women on computer use to boost livelihoods United Nations

The United Nations telecommunications agency today partnered with a Philippines-based non-governmental organization (NGO) to train a million women worldwide to use computers and other information and communications technology (ICT) applications to improve their livelihoods.

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30 March 2011

India's 'digital divide' worst among BRICs: study The Age

India is trailing its so-called BRIC colleagues Brazil, Russia and China in bridging the "digital divide" as a large number of its population has no Internet access, a report said Wednesday.

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30 January 2011

Mobile services in poor countries: Clever services on cheap mobile phones make a powerful combination-especially in poor countries The Economist

Counterfeit drugs can make up around a quarter of all those sold in poor countries, according to some estimates. They provide a lucrative and lethal business, against which most consumers are powerless. "If your anti-malaria pill is made of any old white powder, you may not survive," says Bright Simons, one of the founders of mPedigree, an advocacy group from Ghana.

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18 January 2011

£98 PCs target UK digital divide BBC News

Low-cost computers are to be offered as part of a government scheme to encourage millions of people in the UK to get online for the first time.

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10 December 2010

Mobile 'revolution' eases Pacific isolation, poverty Sydney Morning Herald

From the rugged highlands of Papua New Guinea to the remote islands of Tonga, a telecommunications revolution in the Pacific is helping ease poverty and isolation in some of the world's poorest countries.

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30 November 2010

Mobile Banking in the Emerging World New York Times

In Tanzania, a hospital sends money by text message to women in remote areas so they can pay for bus fare to travel for critically needed surgery. In Afghanistan, the government pays its police officers by text message to skirt corrupt middlemen. In Pakistan, the biggest financial network is not a bank, but a unit of Telenor, the Norwegian mobile phone operator.

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29 November 2010

UN official stresses role of information technology for development at Lima forum United Nations

Information and communications technology (ICT) has a vital role to play in advancing economic development, a senior United Nations official told the opening of a regional conference in Lima, Peru, today.

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Asia-Pacific States agree to set up regional broadband connectivity framework: UN United Nations

In an effort to harness the rapid developments in mobile telecommunications services to enhance broadband access, countries in Asia and the Pacific agreed today at a United Nations-backed meeting to set up a framework for regional connectivity.

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20 October 2010

Faraway Australian kids in remote control The Australian

For the children of Yirrkala school, life in their remote community means less access than city kids to education technology.

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08 October 2010

Initiative aims to supply millions of mobiles to women BBC News

A woman living in sub-Saharan Africa is 23% less likely than a man to own a mobile phone, according to research.

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06 October 2010

Tablet PC for developing nations BBC News

The One Laptop Per Child organisation has been given a $5.6m (£3.5m) grant to develop a tablet version of its educational computer.

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24 September 2010

Internet said to speed development for poor nations Reuters

Internet technology drives economic growth and enables poor countries to develop at a faster pace than rich nations did, Cisco Chief Executive John Chambers, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and other business leaders said on Thursday.

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19 September 2010

Mobile phones in tough places: Reaching the world's unconnected will require more adventurous carriers The Economist

When Digicel, a Jamaican mobile-phone company, first planned a wireless service in Papua New Guinea, obvious hurdles loomed. The electricity grid reached at most 17% of the country's 6m people. Roads barely extended beyond Port Moresby, the capital. Average incomes were just above $1,000 a year.

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16 September 2010

Tim Berners-Lee calls for free internet worldwide BBC News

The inventor of the Web has called for everyone to have access to his creation for free.

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11 September 2010

Looking to laptops to lead Doomadgee children in Australia out of poverty The Australian

... This week, the Australian arm of global not-for-profit organisation One Laptop Per Child, with longstanding support from The Australian, sent 120 laptops to Doomadgee, to be given to 120 children in grades 2, 4 and 5.

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06 September 2010

Mobile internet in emerging markets: How the mobile internet will transform the BRICI countries The Economist

Buying a mobile phone was the wisest $20 Ranvir Singh ever spent. Mr Singh, a farmer in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, used to make appointments in person, in advance, to deliver fresh buffalo milk to his 40-odd neighbours. Now his customers just call when they want some. Mr Singh's income has risen by 25%, to 7,000 rupees ($149) a month. And he hears rumours of an even more bountiful technology. He has heard that "something on mobile phones" can tell him the current market price of his wheat. Mr Singh does not know that that "something" is the internet, because, like most Indians, he has never seen or used it. But the phone in his calloused hand hints at how hundreds of millions of people in emerging markets -- perhaps even billions -- will one day log on.

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