My two bits... > 1. What new "high impact" technologies are on the 3-year horizon? Who > (exactly) needs to do what (concretely) to make those technologies > widely available?
Optical frequencies communication for exceptionally low power, very high bandwidth, short distance communications (line-of-sight) will be very likely to emerge as a new low cost option, in both desktop (laptop) and handheld devices. To deploy it, far more effort will be needed from grassroots social assistance program workers. Voice based messaging software programs will also appear on handhelds, enabling the Grameen model to be deployed much more effectively in other regions of the world, where cellular and cellular-like systems are being and will be deployed over the next three years. > 2. What's the most valuable area for technology development? Voice > recognition? Cheap broadband delivery? Cheap hand-helds (under $50)? The most critical area for technology development lies in the digitisation and support of services in demand, not in hardware per se. This is an exceedingly local activity, given that software development by its very nature demands a huge level of interaction between technologists and users. In hardware, though, it is both cheaper broadband and handhelds that need to emerge. Right now, in countries like India, the only really cheap mobile handsets are obsolete ones, which do not support the kind of operating systems that run such applications. > 3. Where should we focus our efforts during the coming 3 years? On ICT > policy? Creating ICT projects with revenue-generation models that are > quickly self-supporting? Demonstrating the value of ICT to developing > country communities? We need to evolve better funding models, that are better equipped to evaluate and deliver funds to grassroots projects that are more appropriate to the communities in which they are to add value. Trying to opine here in this group about specific projects we get to know about somewhere else in the world is both frustrating and patronizing. > 4. What levels of access should we be able to achieve by 2007 in each of > the major under-served regions? Who (exactly) must do what (concretely) > to attain them? We need to get a foothold into these regions. And we need to have funding in place that will support the growth of that foothold, driven by local demand. > 5. What funding models should we develop over the next 3 years? Projects > with business plans that provide self-sustainability? Support from > multilateral corporations? Venture capital funds for ICT and > development? In a nutshell, none of the above. But see *3.*, for the glaring weaknesses in these models make it impossible to choose between them, or even to want to make such a choice. -- Vickram ------------ 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