Bluetown announces partnership with Microsoft to close digital divide

21 Jan 2019

Denmark based company Bluetown, announced its  Airband Initiative with Microsoft which will bring Internet access to approximately 800 000 people in underserved communities in the Eastern region of Ghana. TV white space and wi-fi will be used to create affordable public wi-fi zones. The project will also provide Internet and free access to digital services such as e-learning, e-health, news and more) to local institutions and businesses .

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Internet access is growing rapidly, yet large groups of people remain unconnected to the Internet. As of 2015, about 43% of people had access to the Internet (in developing countries only 34%). Access to ICTs is part of the Sustainable Development Agenda, which commits to ‘significantly increase access to ICTs and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020’ (Goal 9.c).

The digital divide can be defined as a rift between those who, for technical, political, social, or economic reasons, have access and capabilities to use ICT/Internet, and those who do not. Various views have been put forward about the size and relevance of the digital divide.

The need for people to gain access to ICT resources and narrow the digital divide is crucial, and is especially relevant now in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important to understand how access to the Internet affects the level of economic and social development in a country.

The telecommunications infrastructure is a physical medium through which all Internet traffic flows.

 

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