Broadband for All aims to provide broadband connectivity to South Africa’s under-served areas through a community-centric model rather than a telco-driven model. The model leverages wireless-mesh technologies to link priority government sites and high bandwidth users such as schools, municipalities and government offices, who in turn provide a link to smaller customers such as businesses, NGOs and individuals.
Rozi Bako reports that after researching the state of access to online information for extending democracy in Romania “we are now advocating for open e-government”. Bako of the StrawberryNet Foundation found that technology in Romania is far more advanced than information dissemination practices, and that if Romania is to become a transparent, participatory society, government initiatives and a business community drive have to be backed up by opinion-makers and citizen action groups.
Call for participation for researchers interested in ICTD, public-access computing, and community informatics. The iConference 2011 will be held from February 8–11, 2011, in Seattle.
NOW IN FRENCH AND SPANISH: Do you have a right to online knowledge? Report shows open internet in danger
A major report that reveals how vulnerable the internet as we know it is, has just been published in French and Spanish by two global civil society organisations. The annual report, called Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch), was in November by the Association for Progressive Communications and Dutch-funder Hivos. GISWatch 2009 is entitled Access to online information and knowledge – advancing human rights and democracy. The full publication is now available in French, and an abridged version in Spanish.
Last year, rural non-profit the Fantsuam Foundation trained almost six hundred locals in computing to improve their livelihoods – but only one was a person with physical disabilities. Now incorporating JAWS – a Job Access With Speech screen reader – Fantsuam will open their basic and advanced computer skills classes to people who can’t see.
Seán Ó Siochrú
2. Emerging issues and trends in pro-poor ICT policy and regulation
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) takes a great pleasure in inviting you to participate in the Access to Knowledge (A2K) workshop which will be on 7 April 2010 at the Sunnyside Park Hotel in Parktown, Johannesburg.