There’s been a drive in the first part of this century to bring information communications technology (ICT) to parts of the world that have not previously enjoyed it. In 2007, and in the years since, One Laptop per Child (OLPC), funded at various times by companies such as AMD, Google, Intel, and News Corporation, has provided computers for children in various countries to enhance their educational experience (One Laptop per Child, n.d.; Martins, 2007).
In June, Google announced it would bring wireless connectivity to Africa by blimp. This left some Africans criticizing the move as addressing the wrong problem—it’s the cost of equipment that prevents access, not the ability to connect (Stibbe, 2013; Talbot, 2013).
In August, Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive officer of Facebook, published a white paper entitled Is Connectivity a Human Right and shortly afterwards established a nonprofit organization called Interent.org. This consortium is made up of major corporations that include Nokia, Samsung, and Ericsson (handset makers), Opera (a browser manufacturer), and both Qualcomm and MediaTek which are both infrastructure manufacturers (Levy, 2013; Zuckerberg, 2013). Continue reading