Taking advantage of the fact that Internet Society’s CEO, Kathy Brown, and I were both in India last month, we visited one of our Wireless for Communities (W4C) sites in Tilonia, located in Rajasthan state.
Located some 380km from Delhi in a rural location, the W4C Tilonia site is based at the Barefoot College campus, and is a self-reliant model village – from generating their own solar electricity to sustainable water harvesting. They also run a community education programme teaching people from around the world skills to help them empower their local communities.
The W4C programme has been...
Date published 14 December 2016
India is an interesting country when it comes to Internet access.
On the one hand, India has the second most Internet subscribers in the world. There are over 450 million people online here. On the other hand, we also have the largest number of unconnected people. Only about 35 percent of our population is online, including more than 70 percent of women. Between 70 and 80 percent of our landmass isn’t connected, including most rural parts of the country. So we have a severe problem when it comes to connectivity.
I helped found the Digital Empowerment Foundation about 20 years ago, with...
Date published 02 December 2016
Be it high into the Himalayas, deep into the country side of India or the hills of Mexico, incredible people are helping to bring connectivity to some of the world's forgotten places.
We want to you to a part of it.
Yesterday we held an online forum where some of these incredible people shared how they are connecting the world by connecting communities.
They talked about how they helped build community networks and how hard it can be to get equipment.
We heard about different network models, ways to fix common problems, links to resources for new projects and to help...
Date published 29 June 2016
As the industry gears up for the Mobile World Congress (MWC) this month, a new study released today by the Internet Society suggests that mobile may be everywhere but, contrary to the meeting’s slogan, it isn’t everything yet—at least not to everyone in Asia-Pacific.
The Mobile Internet Usage Trends in Asia-Pacific report, based on a survey of 1,620 Internet users from 37 economies in the region, found that younger people, specifically those below 25 years old, have a more diverse engagement with the mobile Internet - using it for activities that range from social networking and entertainment...
Date published 19 February 2016
Coming from the urban part of Pakistan, the Internet is nothing new for me and not as novel anymore, as I have been using it every day for the past many years. However, for many who don’t have access, it can indeed be a thing of wonder that can be used to connect, communicate and collaborate. This is something I realised during the first phase of our ‘Wireless for Communities’ (W4C) pilot project in Pakistan.
Today, wireless technologies are an excellent alternative, especially in countries that are lagging behind regarding getting the Internet to rural communities. Embracing Internet Society...
Date published 12 February 2016
It isn’t everyday that I get to sit on a panel to talk about our favourite development project in the Asia-Pacific region - the Wireless for Communities (W4C) project in India. So I jumped at the opportunity when this opening came up at the Aid & Response Summit Asia in Bangkok this week.
W4C is a project that we are particularly proud of at the Internet Society Asia-Pacific office - not only because it has won two international awards namely the ITU/MCMC (International Telecommunications Union - Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) Connecting at the Roots Award for...
Date published 18 June 2015
The Net neutrality debate currently raging in India has brought to light a broader underlying concern: the low—currently below 20%--Internet penetration in the country.
A major rationale used by network operators in justifying a non-neutral network is the need to expand Internet use in India, particularly in low-income areas. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose Internet.org initiative has been taken up by Reliance Communications, in a recent piece argued that free—albeit selective--access to the Internet will bring more people online, particularly those who are not yet able to afford it....
Date published 29 April 2015
(Photo: The Goat is Coming! - CC BY-SA)
There has been a lot of conjecture about the upcoming Chinese New Year in Asia, much of it centering on whether the region will be starting the Year of the Sheep, the Goat or even the Ram. The confusion arises from the fact that the pinyin character involved can mean either sheep or goat, with more specific words to differentiate between them.
The Internet Society’s Asia-Pacific Bureau prefers the goat because of what this animal represents and how some of the goat’s characteristics may come in handy over the next 12 months. Consider the goat’s...
Date published 19 February 2015
Earlier this week, I participated in AIS Chennai, hosted by the ISOC India Chennai Chapter. The event was themed “India in the Open and Global Internet” and was focused on Internet Governance issues and what India could offer to the global conversation.
Attendees were a mix of business, technical community and academia, with a fairly large number of youth from local tertiary institutions. Interestingly, most of these students were undertaking non-technical courses.
Discussions covered a wide range of topics, including privacy, censorship, responsible use of social media, network neutrality,...
Date published 04 December 2014
The global Internet Governance Forum was not the only one showing vibrancy in Istanbul this week. At the Inter-regional and National Dialogue, national and regional IGFs around the world helped to demonstrate just how far the multi-stakeholder initiative has gone on its ninth year. There are innovations left and right—in strategies, processes and practices: In Asia-Pacific, a growing youth IGF has been successfully integrated into the main regional agenda. In Canada, the coordinating body conducts a bi-annual national survey through which topics for the next IGF are determined. In...
Date published 06 September 2014