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The Internet in Developing Nations: A Grand Challenge

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  1. The Internet in Developing Nations: A Grand Challenge Larry Press Professor, IS CSU Dominguez Hills

  2. A grand challenge: connecting the world’s rural villages Larry Press Professor, IS CSU Dominguez Hills http://som.csudh.edu/fac/lpress/

  3. Measuring and Reducing the Digital Divide: a Grand Challenge Larry Press Professor, IS California State University, Dominguez Hills lpress@csudh.edu

  4. Background

  5. We have done • Training • Pilot studies • ICT readiness assessments • Conferences and workshops

  6. Outline • Background • Village applications and business models • Backbone architecture and feasibility • Project policies (lessons learned from NSFNet) • Conclusion – G8

  7. Outline • A decade of activity • Where are we? • A grand challenge: connect all villages • The NSFNet strategy • Cabled and wireless technologies • Why Bangladesh?

  8. Outline • A decade of activity • The NSF approach • Architecture and feasibility • Village models and applications • Action plan – WSIS

  9. Outline • A decade of measurement activity • Time for action – a grand challenge: • Provide a high-speed Internet link and a point of presence in every village in every low and lower-middle income nation. • 3 billion people • 3 million villages

  10. A Grand Challenge Provide a high-speed Internet link and a point of presence in every village in every low and lower-middle income nation. 3 billion people 3 million villages

  11. Grand challenges • I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth. John F. Kennedy, 1961 • That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. Neil Armstrong, 1969

  12. Grand Challenges • I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth. John F. Kennedy, 1961 • That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. Neil Armstrong, 1969

  13. A Grand Challenge Provide a high-speed Internet link and a point of presence in every village in every low and lower-middle income nation. 3 billion people 3 million villages

  14. A Grand Challenge Provide a high-speed Internet link and a point of presence in every village in every low and lower-middle income nation. 3 billion people 3 million villages

  15. A grand challenge Connecting the approximately 3 billion people residing in 3 million villages of the developing nations within ten years.

  16. A grand challenge Connecting the approximately three billion people residing in three million rural villages of the developing nations within ten years.

  17. A grand challenge Connecting the approximately three billion people residing in three million rural villages of the developing nations within ten years.

  18. A grand challenge • Build IP backbones providing high-speed connectivity to and a point of presence in every rural village in every developing nation within ten years. (There are roughly 3 million villages and 3 billion people in low and lower income nations).

  19. Possible ICT Grand Challenges • Provide high-speed IP connectivity to all villages • Provide access to all engineering and scientific literature and data sets at all universities

  20. A proposal • The G8 just pledged to increase African aid by $25 billion per year. • A portion of that increase should be used for a high-speed Internet backbone to and a point of presence in every African village. • There are 3 billion people in 3 million villages in developing nations

  21. 1990s hypothesis • Computer networks can improve the quality of life in developing nations at a relatively low cost • Marginal impact increased by a lack of alternative ICT and transportation • Raising the quality of rural life will reduce pressure for urban migration

  22. 1990s Hypothesis • Computer networks could improve life in developing nations at a relatively low cost • Marginal impact could be relatively great due to a lack of alternative ICT • Raising the quality of rural life will reduce migration pressure

  23. This motivated 15 years work • ICT measurement and readiness studies • Pilot applications and business models • Training • Conferences and workshops

  24. Background

  25. Over a decade of activity

  26. We have done • Training • Pilot studies • ICT readiness assessments • Conferences and workshops

  27. Over a decade of activity • Early hypothesis • Experience with applications supporting those hypothesis

  28. E-readiness assessments • 10 statistical/questionnaire methodologies • 8 case study methodologies • 137 nations have been assessed at least once • 55 nations have been assessed at least 5 times • 10 nations have been assessed at least 10 times

  29. DOI vs. average of other indices

  30. Successful Applications • Education • Health care • E-commerce • Democracy and human rights • E-government • News and entertainment

  31. Where are we? • Many applications have been demonstrated. • The Internet is on the “radar screen” • But the digital divide persists • Capital is not available

  32. Early successes, still operating • Education • Health care • E-commerce • Democracy and Human Rights • E-government • Entertainment

  33. IP Connectivity, 2003

  34. Internet subscribers, 2003

  35. Cannot attract private capital • Cost of 20 hours access as percent of average monthly GNI per capita

  36. On the “radar screen” • Every government is aware of the strategic importance of the Internet • (risks too)

  37. On the “radar screen” • Every government is aware of the strategic importance of the Internet • (risks too)

  38. Mosaic dimensions

  39. After 10-15 years work • We have evidence that the hypothesis is true • The digital divide persists • Capital is not available • The Internet is on the “radar screen” – all governments recognize the communication-development link

  40. On the “radar screen” • Every government is aware of the strategic importance (and risks) of the Internet • Multilateral institutions – G8, World Bank, ITU, UNDP, etc are also well aware of the role of communication in development • Time for action

  41. We have done • ICT readiness assessments • Pilot studies • Training • Conferences and workshops

  42. E-readiness assessments • 10 statistical/questionnaire methodologies • 8 case study methodologies • 137 nations have been assessed at least once • 55 nations have been assessed at least 5 times • 10 nations have been assessed at least 10 times

  43. “State of” Annuals

  44. How to proceed? • The NSF approach • Architecture and feasibility • Village models and applications • Action plan – WSIS

  45. After 10-15 years work • We have evidence that the hypothesis is true • The digital divide persists • Capital is not available • The Internet is on the “radar screen” – all governments recognize the communication-development link

  46. Connectivity, 1991

  47. Internet diffusion, 9/1991

  48. Internet diffusion, 6/1997

  49. Generic Digital Divide

  50. The “digital divide” persists