Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] How Much Bandwidth is Necessary?

2003-11-19 Thread Njideka Ugwuegbu
I am a Digital Vision Fellow at Stanford and the focus of my work is to
develop a rural messaging service that will give villagers a voice to
the world.

What I am proposing is a youth-led process to help villagers that don't
use computers or the Internet, but want to communicate with their
loved ones outside the village (in other towns or even in the Diaspora).
The process will begin at the Owerri Digital Village, a community
technology and learning center in eastern Nigeria. For an easier read,
the steps in the process are summarized in numerical form below:

1) Villages and families will be identified. Each family will have
their own email account at the center.

2) Youth agents will be trained to go out into these communities on a
given schedule to take communication from these families for their
relatives living outside the village.

3) The youth agents will have a customized form they will use to
document the message(s).

4) In some instances if the locals speak and write only the local
language and have chosen to write their own letter, the youth agent will
take the handwritten letter.

5) On returning to the Owerri Digital Village, the youth agent will
type up the letter or scan the letter (depending on which option was
performed - 3 or 4).

6) The letter will be sent via email to the recipient and an e-post log
will be completed by the youth agent.

7) When and if a response is received, the youth agent will then return
to the family with the message...

The cycle continues.

What the program hopes to achieve is the promotion and empowerment of
marginalized youth through ICT skills training for creation of socially
responsible citizens, access to computers and most of all the
satisfaction of doing something that the community places a significant
value on.

There are several other process related issues that are involved with
this project including how we deal with confidentiality, what nominal
price to charge and who (the local villager, their family member in the
Diaspora or both), how to minimize the length of communication (with
attachments, especially if we are using a BGAN where the cost is
dependent on amount of data transmitted)... etc, etc.

I'd be excited if there are others on this list who may be interested in
working with me on the project team, or if there are any other global
examples to share as we move forward with this project. Please let me
know.

Best,
-- 
Njideka Ugwuegbu
Reuters Digital Vision Fellow
Stanford University
http://reuters.stanford.edu/

Founder, Youth for Technology Foundation
http://www.youthfortechnology.org
(425) 681-3920


Herman Wasserman [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 Cliff, this is a very interesting line of argument -- if this way of
 using the internet through an intermediary is a general practice in
 Africa because of the lack of connectivity, it might mean amending some
 of the theories of Internet communication from the idea of the Internet
 as a many-to-one or individualised, customised form of communication to
 one that is similar to the two-step flow of communication, where
 information is mediated by leaders or representatives in society.
 
 Can you perhaps point me to some case studies of this type of mediation,
 or to specific examples? Thanks



 Cliff Missen wrote:
 
 Today, villager's messages are being delivered on paper to a Internet
 Cafe and then transcribed into email for delivery worldwide by someone
 who holds an email account. There may someday be a SERVICE that enhances
 this informal relationship to the point where a single griot can
 manage email accounts for hundreds of clients through a simple handheld
 device. It'll take a little tweaking of the current email and client
 software, but it's very possible.


 

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Re: [GKD-DOTCOM] How Much Bandwidth is Necessary?

2003-11-06 Thread Njideka Ugwuegbu
Mark Lediard [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:

 Here is a bandwidth sharing option I have been thinking about. I plan to
 deploy this in Indonesia soon. The idea is to get a business, (perhaps a
 bank?) that has some bandwidth in a district setting, to share its
 bandwidth with a health center through a wireless access point placed
 somewhere near the health facility. If a local business is willing to
 share bandwidth with a health facility, the base costs of a router and
 wireless access point to enable that are around 125 Euros. Security
 software and routines exists to make sure that no one at the health
 center can hack the host. Then, in pleasant and practical
 public-private collaboration, the health entity that gets to connect
 wirelessly via the on-all-the-time connection at no extra charge to the
 host, can have free bandwidth to use for their ICT needs.
 
 This gives a local business an easy and low-cost way to act in a way
 that is socially responsible. There may also be a way for the health
 unit to recover some costs by charging some fees for offering VOIP
 (Voice over internet protocol) services such as the use of SKYPE or
 www.net2phone for contact. Think about how you might apply such a
 voluntary Robin Hood scheme. It's technically feasible. I have done it
 already on a small scale. In fact, this note comes to you via a wireless
 setup...


Mark, interesting scheme. The most challenging part, I think, will be
convincing the bank that sharing their bandwidth with a local health
center will be a socially responsible thing to do, especially if they
are aware that the health center will then turn around and use their new
connected state to make money.

I think even the banks will want to set up a monthly payment plan with
the health center where the center pays for their bandwidth usage - even
a nominal fee.



Njideka Ugwuegbu
Reuters Digital Vision Fellow
Stanford University
http://reuters.stanford.edu/
http://www.youthfortechnology.org







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.
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To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message to:
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