Isso, para ter uma noção, é uma ideia que tenho ouvido desde 2008! :D

On 22 February 2013 23:38, Marco Aureliopc <> wrote:

> ** <>*Knight* 
> Blog<> The
> blog of the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation Getting Wikipedia to the
> people who need it 
> most<>
> Feb. 22, 2013, 8:11 a.m., Posted by Kul Takanao Wadhwa – 0 
> Comments<>
>  *The Wikimedia Foundation recently received Knight News Challenge
> funding to create ways to deliver Wikipedia for 
> free<> to
> users in the developing world.** Below, its head of mobile, **Kul Takanao
> Wadhwa <>, writes about
> the project. *
> We’re in the middle of an information revolution that’s changing the way
> billions of people in developing countries obtain news and knowledge. With
> a $10 cell phone, a high school student in New Delhi or a cab driver in
> Dakar can access the Internet and -- through Wikipedia and other websites -
> learn volumes about virtually any subject. If knowledge is power, then the
> developing world, with almost five billion cell-phone 
> subscriptions<>,
> is poised to make amazing changes.
> There’s just one catch: An overwhelming percentage of new mobile users in
> India, Senegal and other developing countries can’t afford data charges, so
> they’re effectively excluded from sites like Wikipedia. It’s a de facto
> blackout, a kind of information segregation that shunts potential Internet
> users to the side of a very important road.
> That’s why the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that operates
> Wikipedia, has established Wikipedia 
> Zero<>,
> a program where we partner with mobile operators to give their mobile users
> free-of-charge access to Wikipedia and its growing trove of 24 million
> articles.
> In 2012, the Wikimedia Foundation signed Wikipedia Zero partnerships with
> three mobile operators, which is bringing free Wikipedia access to 230
> million mobile users in 31 
> countries<>.
> In January of 2013, we signed a fourth partnership that extends Wikipedia
> Zero to at least 100 million more mobile users in five more 
> countries<>
> .
> And with the recent support of the Knight News Challenge grant, designed
> to accelerate media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and
> information, a series of exciting new developments is on the horizon. We
> are: speeding up the development of Wikipedia Zero; hastening the
> development of the software that lets a simple feature phone (the dominant
> phone in developing countries) connect easily to Wikipedia’s mobile site;
> augmenting the development of the engineering that, on Wikipedia, makes
> hundreds of native languages readable from mobile devices; and pioneering a
> program to give mobile users 
> USSD<>& 
> SMS access to Wikipedia.
> We’re very excited about delivering Wikipedia via text, which we expect to
> roll out within the next few months. With the program, users will send a
> text request to Wikipedia and, within seconds, they will get the article to
> their phone. To deliver this innovative technology, we’re partnering with
> the Praekelt Foundation <>, a nonprofit
> based in Johannesburg, South Africa. It’s another example of the tremendous
> collaborative spirit that has always driven Wikipedia and always will.
> The number of mobile users who can get free access to Wikipedia is
> increasing rapidly, and so is its usage. In the countries where Wikipedia
> Zero has already been deployed, Wikipedia readership of local, non-English
> languages grew upwards of 400 percent in six months#. On our partner’s
> network in Niger, Wikipedia’s mobile traffic increased by 77 percent in the
> first four months of Wikipedia Zero, compared to 7 percent growth on Niger’s
> mobile networks that don’t have Wikipedia 
> Zero<>.
> In Kenya, the growth from Wikipedia Zero was even higher - 88 
> percent<>.
> The demand is there for much more growth, and word-of-mouth is spreading.
> And the movement for access to knowledge is coming from all sides. Last
> December, a group of 11th-graders at Sinenjongo High School in Cape Town,
> South Africa, wrote a heartfelt letter to four mobile operators, imploring
> them to give their South African customers free-of-charge mobile access
> to Wikipedia <>. They had
> learned about Wikipedia Zero, even though the service is not yet available
> in South Africa. The Cape Town students have the technology in their hands,
> but they lack the money to pay for data charges. In their letter, which was
> published in Gadget, an online South Africa magazine that covers consumer
> technology, the 24 students wrote:
> *“We recently heard that in some other African countries like Kenya and
> Uganda certain cell phone providers are offering their customers free
> access to Wikipedia. We think this is a wonderful idea and would really
> like to encourage you also to make the same offer here in South Africa. It
> would be totally amazing to be able to access information on our cell
> phones which would be affordable to us.*
> *Our school does not have a library at all so when we need to do research
> we have to walk a long way to the local library.  When we get there we have
> to wait in a queue to use the one or two computers which have the internet.
>  At school we do have 25 computers but we struggle to get to use them
> because they are mainly for the learners who do CAT (Computer Application
> Technology) as a subject. Going to an internet cafe is also not an easy
> option because you have to pay per half hour. 90% of us have cellphones but
> it is expensive for us to buy airtime so if we could get free access to
> Wikipedia it would make a huge difference to us...Our education system
> needs help and having access to Wikipedia would make a very positive
> difference. Just think of the boost that it will give us as students and to
> the whole education system of South Africa.”*
> Their letter is a reminder that the human spirit craves access to free
> information. Indeed, I firmly believe that access to free knowledge should
> be a universal human right. News and knowledge change lives for the better.
> They always have.
> From the beginning of the Wikimedia movement, and more broadly across the
> free knowledge movement, the goal has been to break down the digital
> divide, and render barriers to knowledge obsolete. There’s no better time
> than now to make gigantic inroads in that quest. Eighty percent of all new
> mobile phone subscribers are in developing countries, according to the United
> Nations’ International Telecommunication 
> Union<>.
> For now, of the 25 countries that have the highest rate of mobile traffic
> on Wikipedia, 22 are developing 
> countries<>.
> The top eight countries are all in 
> Africa<>
> .
> We will do what it takes to get free knowledge into the hands of students
> like those in South Africa who are clamoring for it. We will continue
> partnering with mobile operators who donate their resources to the service
> of Wikipedia Zero. In the next two years, we will write more blog posts
> that detail the progress we make in the developing world.
> The Knight News Challenge mobile 
> grant<>is an important 
> milestone in our movement to make free knowledge available
> to everyone, including every person in the developing world. We see 2013as a 
> year of significant transition as we make our vision a long-term
> reality. As I said, access to knowledge should be a human right. And the
> Wikimedia Foundation is thrilled to be part of the Information Revolution
> that is bringing free knowledge around the world. We want others to join
> us, and as the 11th-graders in South Africa have shown us, to also be
> leaders in this movement. With hard work and true partnership, this dream
> will become a reality for the students in South Africa, and indeed,
> everyone, everywhere.
> *By Kul Takanao Wadhwa <>,
> head of mobile for Wikimedia Foundation*
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