Tools and technologies for equitable access

Published 1 Nov 2007 by Alberto Escudero-Pascual

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Equitable access to infrastructure requires the combination of policies, technology and human capacity building. This paper focuses on adequate technologies and tools for developing regions to improve Internet access. The technologies are presented in five major areas:

  • Wireless access
  • Low cost and low power computing
  • Open standards, hardware and software
  • Local services and content
  • Open access and open networks

This paper provides the necessary background for each of these technology areas and refers to practical strategies including existing initiatives. After reviewing the various issues and practical strategies the paper makes a set of recommendations related to each of the technology areas identified. The suggested interventions cover a range of issues: including public access to radio spectrum, open networks, capacity building, the promotion of local services, the use of open standards and quality control in ICTs.

This paper concludes that no matter which time in history we look at, the equitable use of information and communication technologies results from making technology accessible, adequate and relevant to local realities.

Keyword(s): Localization, Low Cost Internet Access, Mobile Internet, Open Source, Open Source Software, Open hardware, Rural connectivity, VoIP, Wi-Fi, Wi-MAX, Wireless,