Digital Divide

23 October 2009

Africa calling: mobile phone usage sees record rise after huge investment The Guardian

Africans are buying mobile phones at a world record rate, with take-up soaring by 550% in five years, research shows.

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08 October 2009

World Bank to help develop high-speed Internet in Africa The Age

The World Bank said on Tuesday it would invest US$215 million (€146 million) to help develop high-speed Internet infrastructure in central Africa and make the service more accessible to people in the region.

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07 October 2009

In Rural Africa, a Fertile Market for Mobile Phones New York Times

Laban Rutagumirwa charges his mobile phone with a car battery because his dirt-floor home deep in the remote, banana-covered hills of western Uganda does not have electricity.

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26 September 2009

A special report on telecoms in emerging markets: mobile marvels - poor countries have already benefited hugely from mobile phones The Economist

Bouncing a great-grandchild on her knee in her house in Bukaweka, a village in eastern Uganda, Mary Wokhwale gestures at her surroundings. "My mobile phone has been my livelihood," she says. In 2003 Ms Wokhwale was one of the first 15 women in Uganda to become "village phone" operators. Thanks to a microfinance loan, she was able to buy a basic handset and a roof-mounted antenna to ensure a reliable signal. She went into business selling phone calls to other villagers, making a small profit on each call. This enabled her to pay back her loan and buy a second phone. The income from selling phone calls subsequently enabled her to set up a business selling beer, open a music and video shop and help members of her family pay their children's school fees. Business has dropped off somewhat in the past couple of years as mobile phones have fallen in price and many people in her village can afford their own. But Ms Wokhwale's life has been transformed.

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The power of mobile money - mobile phones have transformed lives in the poor world. Mobile money could have just as big an impact The Economist

Once the toys of rich yuppies, mobile phones have evolved in a few short years to become tools of economic empowerment for the world's poorest people. These phones compensate for inadequate infrastructure, such as bad roads and slow postal services, allowing information to move more freely, making markets more efficient and unleashing entrepreneurship. All this has a direct impact on economic growth: an extra ten phones per 100 people in a typical developing country boosts GDP growth by 0.8 percentage points, according to the World Bank. More than 4 billion handsets are now in use worldwide, three-quarters of them in the developing world. Even in Africa, four in ten people now have a mobile phone.

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16 September 2009

New Africa broadband link 'ready' BBC News

A new high-speed undersea cable connecting East Africa with the rest of the world is poised to go live, Kenya's top internet official has told the BBC.

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08 September 2009

The Cable is Here But East Africa is Not Ready for It The EastAfrican

East Africa may have received the first undersea fiber optic cable a month ago but it is emerging there is no requisite infrastructure to enable Seacom go deeper into the hinterland.

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11 August 2009

With Cable, Laying a Basis for Growth in Africa New York Times

The opening of a fiber optic cable providing broadband Internet service to millions of people in Southern and Eastern Africa is part of an ambitious plan to expand Web access and help spur the continent's economy and technology industry.

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02 August 2009

Bill Gates' Fix for India's Ills: Technology BusinessWeek

Microsoft Chairman Gates says technology -- from an electronic network for urban workers to a national ID card project -- can help India overcome its challenges

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26 July 2009

Internet Plan Targets Three Billion Users in Rural Areas Business Daily Africa

An ambitious $650 million undertaking by Internet giant Google and international bank HSBC will see Internet services extended to nearly three billion people in rural areas across the world.

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03 July 2009

How wide is the world's digital divide, anyway? ars technica

New broadband penetration data shows that the majority of the world has almost no home access to high-speed Internet access; in Africa, for instance, only 2% of homes have broadband. Ars takes a look at the worldwide digital divide.

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20 June 2009

Internet access cost drops in some African nations Computerworld

The cost of Internet connectivity in several Africa countries is declining significantly and the speed keeps improving due to competition by ISPs according to an Internet research organization.

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13 June 2009

Australian Aboriginal kids get free laptops to fight illiteracy Reuters

Soon after getting a green laptop distributed free to Aboriginal school children in hopes of combating illiteracy and truancy, Jericho Lacey learned his computer was good for more than just homework.

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09 June 2009

It is up to the unwired class to get online and save themselves: Andrew Keen The Independent (UK)

Is innovation fair? Has the internet revolution resulted in more social justice and equality for everyone in society?

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28 April 2009

In Developing Countries, Web Grows Without Profit & Western Companies Cut Services New York Times

Facebook is booming in Turkey and Indonesia. YouTube's audience has nearly doubled in India and Brazil. That may seem like good news. But it is also a major reason these and other Web companies with big global audiences and renowned brands struggle to turn even a tiny profit.

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Laptop 'magic' lures young back to school in remote Australia The Australian

Children from remote communities in Western Australia and the Northern Territory are being introduced to the digital world with their very own laptops as part of an international program aimed at boosting school attendance.

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23 April 2009

British budget seeks to eliminate digital divide with BBC digital switchover surplus The Guardian

The broadband industry will be able to use the estimated £250m underspend in the BBC's digital switchover fund to bring internet access to everyone in the UK by 2012, under plans unveiled by the chancellor in today's budget.

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07 April 2009

Korea Bridges Digital Divide: Korea's IT agency has advice for the Obama administration Forbes

Dr. Yeongi Son has a message for President Obama: If you're serious about making broadband a priority, establish an agency dedicated to digital divide issues.

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10 March 2009

Closing the digital divide: How the spread of ICT is improving quality of life for millions in the Third World The Independent

In rural Tanzania, people are used to the daily walk to get water. Now there is a new chore: the trek to recharge the mobile. Many people walk several kilometres, two or three times a week, to keep their phone bleeping.

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05 March 2009

India launches pan-African network project Computerworld

The Indian government has finally launched the pan African e-network project, a joint initiative with the African Union, which aim is to connect African countries to satellite and fiber-optic networks.

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04 March 2009

Mobile phone growth helps poorer states - U.N. index Reuters

Two thirds of the world's cell phone subscriptions are in developing nations, with the highest growth rate in Africa where a quarter of the population now has a mobile, a United Nations agency said on Friday.

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20 February 2009

African Nations Need to Better Utilize Emerging Technologies, Say UN Experts UN News Centre

[news release] African Governments are failing to take advantage of technological advances that can improve the delivery of services to their citizens despite the growth in mobile and information and communications technology (ICT) across the continent, United Nations experts told a meeting in Ethiopia.

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16 February 2009

One Laptop Per Child looks to lower price Boston Globe

The One Laptop Per Child Foundation was established to bring the world's poor children a $100 laptop and, according to its founder, Nicholas Negroponte, the organization is still determined to reach that goal.

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au: ANU helps close digital divide ABC News

Researchers from the Australian National University are working on a new project to help close the digital divide between developed and developing nations.

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10 February 2009

Broadband set to grow in Africa International Herald Tribune

[Reuters] Africa is the fastest-growing telecommunications market in the world, but growth of broadband on the continent has been hamstrung by a patchy national network and costly connections to international systems. That may be about to change.

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