How devices, content, and innovative business models shape our digital future: Creativity with purpose

18 Dec 2017 11:45h - 13:15h

Event report

[Read more session reports and live updates from the 12th Internet Governance Forum]

This roundtable explored the link between innovative business models for access provision, innovative device designs that contribute to access provision, and local content generation to engage local communities as a shift to the paradigm of infrastructure ownership to support underserved communities worldwide.

An infrastructure expert based in India spoke about how networks in eight Indian states have been established covering about 30,000 square kilometers, about 230,000 clients, and three segments including fixed wireless private clients, fixed wireless business clients, institutional clients, and a very large chunk of public hot spots. These are all in rural areas. This is done partially on own and partially in partnership with companies.

The Indian government is making a lot of effort to address water and air pollution through the use of automatic monitoring technology. Detection reports are made available so that the return on investment of every penny and dollar spent on air and environmental pollution can be seen. In India, the 6 to 7 million people who use mobile phones are supported by the government of India with 100 rupees every month, specifically to buy resources online. Most areas have little access to the Internet and the international community is requested to come to remote areas to prevent abject poverty, and provide low-cost Internet access.

In addition, plans are underway for the creation of a future for poverty alleviation, with everyone having access to the Internet and the use of at least the basic ICT devices such as tablets, computers, mobile phones, online education, e-healthcare, and e-government.

Online platforms are to be established to support implementation and gain policy support from the government, and develop reports on the programmes executed online.

There is a need to raise awareness of and train senior government officials about ICT equipment and e-government strategies.

The government should support an independent infrastructure, and analyse the needs of people living in poverty, creating a strong network with the information collected. Social workers can help calculate the number of people living in rural areas through use of information technologies.

Encouraging rural people to use IT platforms to promote their products is important. There is a need for a local infrastructure. And it was noted that not everybody knows how to use ICT, especially in developing countries.

Finally, developing countries should make use of open data already available around the world. This data is created by others. Big data is not the biggest problem; it is the infrastructure that is the problem. Henceforth, governments need to increase investment in innovation, content, and creativity with purpose.

by Kikonyogo Robert