IP Connectivity in LDCs
ITU, Geneva, April 11-12, 2002
Mixed Media
in the LDCs
[email protected]
Index
• The L factor
• What is mixed
• 3 snapshots:
media?
– Wireless wonder: Cambodia
– Guns for radios: Niger
– Small is beautiful: Cape Verde
• Conclusions
The L factor
Major impediment to conventional Internet access in LDCs
• LDC—Least Developed Nations face special barriers
• Lack of infrastructure—shortage of electricity, telephone
lines and PCs to access the Internet
• Low income—low incomes means that Internet access will
not be affordable
• Landlocked—raises costs of international Internet
connectivity
• Literacy—relatively low rates of literacy is a barrier to
using a text-based medium such as the Internet
• Languages—in many LDCs, Internet content in local
languages is not widely available
• Larur—LDCs are predominantly rural and agricultural
impacting both distribution and relevance of Internet
information
Mixed Media
Media-mixes are more effective than a single medium—Neil McKee
• Mass media: medium of communication
(newspapers, radio, television, Internet) aimed at
large numbers of people
• Mixed media: combining various communication
media to enhance the dissemination of information
• Mixed media is an attractive way of spreading
benefits of Internet in least developed countries
Media in LDCs
“The radio will probably do more to bring information, education and social progress to …
the developing world than any other device for a generation.”
— The Times of London, 10 August 1995
140
Million sets/subscribers/readers (left scale)
Per 100 inhabitants (right scale)
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
Radio
Source: ITU.
TV
Telephone Newspaper Internet
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
Rural and
community
radio in
Africa
currently
reach a far
wider
audience than
the Internet
or television.
Photo: FAO /
S.Oumar
Mixed Media in Action
Internet content
downloaded to radio
station
Content providers
call radio station with
information
Internet
information
broadcast over
radio in local
languages
Cellphone with
radio
Cambodia
• 11.4 million population
• GNP per capita
US$ 260
• 84% rural, 82% of
population and 50%
economy in agriculture
• Main language Khmer
(95%), 65% literacy
Cambodia Internet
• Full connection in
May 1997
• 6 Mbps in, 3.5 Mbps
out of international
connectivity (all
satellite)
• ~ 8’000 users
(June 2001),
0.07% population
Wireless wonder
• First nation where
more mobiles than
fixed
• Mobile used to
transmit pricing
information in city
markets
• TMS2Mail and WEM
• Wireless broadband
Fixed
14%
Wireless
Local
Loop 5%
Mobile
81%
Distribution of telephone
subscribers in Cambodia
December 2000
Total=161'427
Niger
• One of world’s poorest
nations: GNI per capita
US$180, 161/162 HDI
• Landlocked
• 79% rural; Agriculture:
39% of economy
• 84% illiteracy
• 20 languages in use
Source: World Bank, Ethnologue
Niger Internet
• Full connection to
Internet in May 1997
via VSAT
• 128 kbps international
bandwidth
• Nationwide dial-up
number
• ~12’000 users
(0.1% of population)
Bankilare, Niger
The Bankilare Community Information Center was built in
1999 by community members with help from the Niger
government, UNDP & SNV (Netherlands Agency). It
houses a community radio station equipped with a
WorldSpace receiver. The encircled object is a
WorldSpace antenna enclosed in tea box for protection.
Radio broadcaster in the Bankilare Community Information
Center. The center downloads programming from the Africa
Learning Channel for rebroadcast. The CIC often translates
the programs into the local language before rebroadcasting
them.
Freeplay stories
Rwanda
South Africa
Malawi
Small is beautiful?
Internet & Population in LDCs
10
1
0.1
Internet users
per 100
inhabitants
0.01
100
Higher Internet
penetration
10
1
Population (millions)
0.1
0.001
0.01
Smaller
population
Cape Verde
• 4th highest Internet
penetration in LDCs
(3% of population)
• 434’812 population
(2000 Census)
• 55% homes have
electricity
• 53% urban, agriculture
12% of GDP
• 2 languages, 74% literacy
Internet in Cape Verde
• Pre-commercial
launch: October 1996,
commercial launch a
year later
• 1 Mbps international
Internet connectivity
• ~ 12’000 users (2.8%
population)
Conclusions
• Because of income, literacy and linguistic issues,
mixed-media may be a more effective way of
disseminating information on the Internet to LDCs
• More small-scale, grass-roots, community-based
projects are needed in LDCs
• There appears to be relationship between the size
of a nation and the level of Internet access
suggesting that moves to decentralize in larger
nations may yield higher rates of ICT use
• What about Internet radio?
References
• Bruce Girard. The Challenges of ICTs and Rural
Radio.
<www.fao.org/docrep/003/x6721e/x6721e16.htm#
P5_1>
• The Bankilare Experience: An Example of a
Successful Collaborative Effort to Bridge the
Digital Divide.
<www.worldspace.org/related.html>
• Andrew W. Shepherd. Farm Radio as a Medium
for Market Information Dissemination.
<www.fao.org/sd/2001/radio/papers.htm>
• ITU. Cambodia, Cape Verde Internet Case
Studies. <www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/cs>
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Mixed Media in the LDCs