Are we Meeting the Challenges of Bringing Content and Access to the World? Technology Education Institute

27 September 2011 - A Workshop on Access in Nairobi, Kenya

Agenda

TODAY, THE WORLD HAS SLIGHTLY OVER 2 BILLION USERS OF THE GLOBAL INTERNET. CONTENT IN BOTH ENGLISH AND OTHER LANGUAGES IS GROWING, AND CHANGES IN THE DEVICES ACCESSING THE INTERNET ARE BRINGING INTERNET ACCESS TO USERS IN REGIONS AND COUNTRIES AT AN EXPONENTIALLY RAPID PACE. ACCESS TO THE GLOBAL INTERNET HAS EVOLVED QUICKLY FROM DESKTOP AND WIRED TO AN ALWAYS-ON AND ALWAYS-ACCESSIBLE ENVIRONMENT BASED ON MOBILE DEVICES. SPECTRUM IS PROVIDING A UBIQUITOUS ENVIRONMENT FOR CONNECTIVITY AND INTEROPERABILTY. WIRED/SATELLITE/WIRELESS IS THE NEW ACCEPTED CHALLENGE FOR APPLICATIONS AND SERVICES.
AROUND THE WORLD, MOBILE DEVICES AND WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY COUPLED WITH USEFUL AND INNOVATIVE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS ARE THE NEW DRIVERS FOR USERS AND THEREFORE FOR GOVERNMENTAL POLICY MAKERS. APPLICATIONS DRIVE TRAFFIC DEMANDS AND WE ARE ONLY BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND THEIR IMPLICATIONS. DEVELOPING COUNTRIES HAVE LED THE WAY IN SUCH AREAS AS – E-BANKING, E-HEALTH, AND E-EDUCATION.
THIS WORKSHOP WILL HAVE AS DISCUSSANTS INDIVIDUALS WITH IN-THE-FIELD EXPERIENCE IN MOBILE HEALTH/REMOTE HEALTH DELIVERY, MOBILE/REMOTE EDUCATION, MOBILE FINANCE, INTERNATIONAL CONNECTIVITY PROVIDERS, IXPS AND ISPs SERVING REMOTE AND DEVELOPING AREAS, AND EXPERT ANALYSIS WHOSE STUDIES SHOW THE ECONOMIC IMPACT.

 

A brief substantive summary and the main events that were raised:
Our workshop was designed to bring experts with in-the-field experience to discuss some of the prime drivers of Access. We had experts in Mobile Banking/Mobile Payments, Mobile Medicine/Remote Health Care over the internet, and an expert to discuss the importance content plays as a driver particularly in education. We had experts who discussed the explosive growth of demand for Access both in the developed and developing world and the commitment of both the private and public sectors to meet this significant Access demand with infrastructure build out. We used the recent arrival of sub fiber to Kenya and the fiber build out to Nairobi as an example of this. One of the experts on the panel told of the success her company achieved in building out a successful wifi network in Haiti after the earthquake (a network that now works on a profit without government financing).
Conclusions and further comments:
Our panelists shared successes that have been achieved in a low bandwidth environment. As more robust fiber and wireless networks provide more and better Access all the drivers we focused on well get better and better. We had robust participation by the audience both those present at the workshop and those participating remotely. There was discussion of the importance reliable electricity will play in the delivery of robust Access. The need to power the network operation centers to manage the fiber and the need to power the server farms that cash the content.