> 2. What lessons have we learned about the risks and rewards of creating > public-private partnerships to expand access to the underserved? Where > have these lessons been applied, and where have they worked?
Here is an interesting and timely example. K-Net Services is a program of Keewaytinook Okimakanak (KO) tribal council in remote "fly-in" communities of Canada. K-Net is providing broadband network services and ICT applications (telehealth, education, economic development, community e-centres) to First Nations in remote regions of northwestern Ontario, Canada. Over the course of about 5 years, K-Net has gone from a bare bones ISP to a carrier class broadband network services provider - aboriginally owned and managed, in some of the most challenging circumstances that Canada has to offer. K-Net case studies will be presented at WSIS in Geneva. The case studies describe lessons learned, challenges overcome and recommendations for others. A PDF of the case studies is available at <http://knet.ca/documents/KNet-Case-Studies-Nov2003.pdf> (4.3 MB) The introduction to the case studies is at <http://knet.ca/documents/INTRO-KNet-ver.pdf> (657K). A multi-media version of the case studies, including several videoclip interviews, and impact statement testimonials is at <http://smart.knet.ca/kuhkenah_flash.html>. Spanish and French versions are forthcoming. I encourage anyone who will be going to WSIS to visit the Canadian Pavilion, learn more about K-Net, and pick up a CD-ROM with these case studies. Jesse Fiddler from K-Net will be presenting some of this material and his stories at some of the different events in Geneva. What K-Net has achieved in less than a decade in terms of broadband network and technical infrastructure development is impressive: several communities have gone from having one phone for 400 people four years ago, to accessing broadband services from individual homes today. There are few rural communities in Canada or the world - and particularly few remote ones - that have experienced such a dramatic transformation in such a short period of time. At the core of the success is a fundamental and on-going approach to community-based planning/implementation and stakeholder engagement in ongoing management of services which are directed to community social and economic goals. Public-private partnerships have been an important ingredient. One of the important lessons from the K-Net experience has been to pay close attention to the community process that directs technological development. K-Net has been described as a "mediating organization", one that works on behalf of communities and ensures that the services they receive are appropriate, technologically sound, and sustainable. Government services are a key customer for this aboriginally owned network - government benefits by being able to provide improved services to very remote populations at reasonable cost. By aggregating demand and network service revenues among various government agencies, the network is able to meet financial sustainability needs. A key private sector partnership is with Telesat Canada to assist in delivering affordable broadband access and services to other remote First Nations communities across the country via C-band satellite. Cheers, Don Richardson, PhD. Director TeleCommons Development Group Stantec Consulting 361 Southgate Drive Guelph, Ontario N1G 3M5 Canada Tel: 519-836-6050; Fax: 519-836-2493 Email: [EMAIL PROTECTED] Web: www.telecommons.com or www.stantec.com ------------ 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