On Wed, 2003-11-05 at 09:26, Peter Burgess wrote:

> My vote is for narrowband EVERYWHERE connecting little local nodes.
> Improve the local infrastructure, and don't focus just on the
> international part of it. And my vote is for using technology to reduce
> the cost and price of basic communication rather than to maximise
> revenue for the technology producers by selling more and more complexity
> that adds a lot to the visual experience but not very much at all to the
> underlying messages being communicated.

This seems to assume that one size fits all. That narrowband will be
adequate because it serves the needs of more people, the vast majority
in fact. Or another way of saying it is they don't yet need bulk data.

Maybe I am biased, not being part of the vast majority in my identity
makeup, but I think that while moving the masses forward, you shouldn't
lose sight of the possibility that real change sometimes starts from the
ones who are few, so to speak. The best analogy I have is from Snow
Crash, where the infocrats are described as feeding off 'biomass' just
like whales feed off krill. Both parts are important for a successful,
functioning 'system' IMHO.

Putting narrowband everywhere and forgetting about broadband can stifle
the growth of a small number of different, more modern, more innovative
actors. Not everyone needs broadband, but don't forget those who do!

I also agree that connectivity is not the whole issue. More the tip of
the iceberg. Education, better health care and more capital (monetary,
HR etc) are much, much more important. Connectivity should be reduced to
the status of a tool that implements, or helps implement, a deeper, more
fundamental strategy. Without a clear workable deep strategy, I don't
think we should even start on solving connectivity.

Put in yet another way, like Simon alluded to, we should work on
connecting the people locally but without knowing or planning for what
they are going to do with that connectivity is another matter. You can
place as much broadband in a village as you please but when they don't
know how to leverage this bandwidth, it just 'lowers the barriers' as
the gentleman from Cisco mentioned - a roundabout means of saying that
there are still some problems ...

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