Dear All, I am Meddie Mayanja, working for the World Bank Institute. I wanted to contribute to the debate in the context of my experience in the ICTs for Development and my current position. > 1. Are high-bandwidth connections necessary, or even important, to > making a real impact on development? Or are the costs and problems > inherent in establishing such connectivity too high--and > unsustainable--for underserved areas?
The question seems to put the horse infront of the cart. In development work we do not need to put technology before the services/development objectives we aim to serve. Its not fair to discuss whether high-bandwidth connections are necessary if we have no specific service under review. Take a case of a basic telecenter in a rural community, high bandwidth will be a waste if they want to use e-mail, internet. However if we are considering telemedicine, with high-quality image transfer between a hospital and a health center in the community, then high bandwidth is a necessity. I would add that the cost is secondary to the function and appropriateness. If we need high bandwidth for a health service as described above, that's it---we can find the money. > 3. Can information distribution centers (e.g., public access > telecenters) offer a viable economic solution to a community's > information needs, by, in effect, sharing a single high-bandwidth > connection among many users, and thus spreading the cost? We are working with a School-Based Telecenter Model for access to ICTs in underserved rural communities. In the program that has 15 centers around the country - Uganda. We had until recently one C-band VSAT terminal that was shared by 4 School-Based Telecenters (SBTs) via wireless bridge and access point--spread spectrum technology. The model helped to share bandwidth that terminated at one VSAT as well as costs for its maintanance. The SBTs have now switched on to KU-band. Visit <www.schooltelecenters.org> for more information about the School-Based Telecenters. Meddie Meddie Mayanja ICT Community Development Specialist ICT for Education Program World Bank Institute Tel: 256 77 502 288 [EMAIL PROTECTED] OR [EMAIL PROTECTED] ------------ This DOT-COM Discussion is funded by the dot-ORG USAID Cooperative Agreement, and hosted by GKD. http://www.dot-com-alliance.org provides more information. To post a message, send it to: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message to: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>. In the 1st line of the message type: subscribe gkd OR type: unsubscribe gkd For the GKD database, with past messages: http://www.GKDknowledge.org