The Philippine Commission on Information and Communications Technology presented its proposed ICT roadmap last June 5, 2006, in Pasig City, Philippines. Gathering nearly a hundred stakeholders from government, the private sector and civil society, the activity took place amidst strong warnings of what could become a roadmap for navigating an increasingly slippery slope, along the lines of commerce.
APC.org – the bilingual English-Spanish site of the Association for Progressive Communications – currently ranks 15,260 in terms of traffic among sites globally rated by the alexa.com information service. "This is simply extraordinary for a .org site," commented Daniel Pimienta of Funredes.org, an organisation that recently became an APC member.
APC-member Foundation for Media Alternatives, organised a successful information and communication technology training workshop for Philippine independent organisations and social movements between the 14th and 17th of June 2006 at the National Computer Center in Quezon City.
In July 2006, APC is to hold a workshop at Johannesburg, which will crystal-gaze into the future and discuss the
future of SAT3, a crucial submarine cable on which hinges Africa’s chances to get a smoother ride to cyberspace.
The APC ‘information and communication technology’ policy workshop ended in London with the call for linking national advocacy to global networks through collaboration and information sharing and working together for long-term sustainability. The workshop attended by 18 participants from different countries provided a unique opportunity to the national portal managers to learn from each other and share their experiences.
Between June 7 and 10, a workshop called Transmission.cc took place in Rome. It was "a major gathering of video makers, programmers and web producers developing online video distribution as a tool for social justice and media democracy." Maxigas from GreenSpider and Indymedia Hungary participated in the event and wrote a comprehensive report on it for APC. Australian APC member c2o was among the co-organisations of Transmission.cc.
As part of APC’s Women’s Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP), Colnodo trained 50 teachers belonging to the Colombian Federation of Educators on the use of basic internet tools.
All online communities are there to connect people who share worldviews and above all, share the need to carry out concrete activities to bring them closer to reality. The environmental movement has been a pioneer in incorporating information and communication technologies (ICTs) for advocacy and as a working method.
Between April 19 and 29, the Alto Vera district – some 400 kilometres from Asunción, Paraguay’s capital – was host to a mobile wireless connection training. Two members of APC group Nodo Tau participated. One of them, the training team’s Maria Cristina Ojeda found that “the mobile wi-fi system is interesting and is going to be very useful for the local people. Personally, I learnt a great deal. In the technical sense, I learned how to install antennas, hardware and software related to wi-fi." Read how technology can work wonders if applied creatively.
Read the series of stories about Betinho prize winning projects, narrated by FLASCO Chile. This group was one of the two winners of APC’s 2005 Betinho Communication Prize. According to the jury, their networking efforts are "improving the lives of individuals and communities in Latin America and producing real economic benefits”. What exactly is their networking about? What is its real impact, what real life stories are to be found in the background? APCNews discussed this with the team behind the scenes. A Betinho prize series in six parts…
APC and WiLAC – the information portal about wireless projects in Latin America and the Caribbean – are organising a “Forum on Internet and Society” on July 24-28, 2006 in Quito, Ecuador. This is intended to promote participant involvement in considering information and communication technologies from the perspective of development.
As an academic centre, FLACSO Chile generates knowledge and reproduces it through its alumni and graduates in different fields of political science. The networking programme falls therefore within the scope of promoting access to and ownership of information.
The female telecentre users initially become involved discreetly, they are curious to know what is going on, what the telecentre consists of and the services it offers. This is the first time that many of the women from the communities have access to equipment.
The www.telecentroscomunitarios.cl portal is one of the internet-based participatory spaces for content production that the programme offers to the 17 telecentres. This is done through a collaborative publishing platform where organisations find the tools to upload news, activities, product offers, local services and also resources for the creation of their own webpages.
At the beginning, arriving and installing telecentres that use computer equipment that run on an open operating system like GNU/Linux was not a simple process. In Chile, the degree of penetration of the Windows operating system is considerabe, and merely encountering something different often generated great resistance from the organisations and communities. We have observed that ”free software” was associated with cost reduction, hence lower quality. As a result of this, there was a significant investment made in the first phase of the implementation of the project to raise awareness about and disseminate of the use of GNU/Linux and associated free software programmes and applications.
Many telecentres are located in Mapuche communities, particularly Pehuenches, and are administered by associations that group these indigenous peoples: Melipeuco, Lonquimay y Villarrica. Until recently, these communities were completely cut-off from ways to access and unable to use these technologies.
The Cabrati Telecentre is located in Batuco Lampa and administered by a group of women that manages a day-care centre. It has become a pioneer community access point in the country as it uses the advantages of wireless connectivity to access internet economically, while still turning a profit.
The good news is that mobile phones are becoming cheaper. But the not-so-good news is that the mobile global industry is yet to take up creative solutions to ensure that the mobile handsets increasingly being used by the less-affluent are not stolen from them.
What kinds of phone connections do the poor use? How much do they spend on telecom services? Are they willing to spend more? How do they choose their phone connection? What do they use phones for? And, what difficulties do they face while doing so? Many questions here… but the hints of possible answers come up in a South Asian study that looks at telecom users in India and Sri Lanka who have monthly incomes of less than USD$ 100.
Jinbonet, APC’s member in Korea, is seven years old. It is a network that provides ICT services to progressive movements, civil society and workers unions. Its other main activity is information and communication technology and human rights advocacy in the information age. In a country which has one of the best internet infrastructures – technically speaking – in the world, concern over the rights of citizens in cyberspace are strong. This article looks at some of the recent issues emerging in East Asia.