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Can more afford ride to cyberspace?

Goa, India

En route to the promised global village, the information superhighway is plagued by poor access and high fares that the bulk of this planet simply cannot afford. Reducing international Fuente: TechSoup Glossary y GenderIT.org ">internet

costs is an important priority, underlined in a set of recommendations from the APC made to the WSIS stresses.
En route to the promised global village, the information superhighway is plagued by poor access and high fares that the bulk of this planet simply cannot afford. Reducing international internet costs is an important priority, underlined in a set of recommendations from the APC made to the WSIS stresses.

APC's recommendations lay down a 11-step plan to making internet access both more "universal and affordable".

Prime among these is reducing international internet costs. It says this can be done by redressing the uneven sharing of the burden of costs for international internet connectivity. APC also advocates "eliminating exploitative monopolistic practices for backbone provision".

Other steps it moots are: support to set up national and international internet exchange points; building local demand for national, regional and international backbone networks; and reducing consts charged by backbone providers.

APC's other recommendations throw their weight behind Free and Open Source Software ("especially for the provision of public services in areas such as education, governance and

health"); promoting free-to-share and open content ("distinct from commercial content that may require different intellectual property right regimes"); and developing low-cost equipment for the Third World.

APC called for continued study of "the question of International Internet Connectivity (IIC)". It called for initiatives that leverage existing public infrastructure -- like electricity and rail networks, underutilised fibre and satellite networks -- to spread the Net.

Regulatory frameworks need to encourage emerging technologies, like wireless networking, "to close the last mile and extend access to under-served areas".

Another suggestion is for an end to "exploitative monopolistic practices that affect the provision of IP-based (Internet Protocol-based) services, including VOIP (voice over internet protocol)".

APC calls for developing local initiatives for content and applications development. It sees the need for an open network access approach "to extend internet access in communities, particularly through the promotion of SME (small and medium-enterprise) and community networking.

Yet another step backed is the "reconfiguring" of the mandate of national Universal Access Funds to "support internet connectivity, applications and content development and community building".

APC's recommendations (PDF format, English)
APC's recommendations (PDF format, Spanish)

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