Bird on a Fire wrote: ↑
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:03 pm
Gawdzilla Sama wrote: ↑
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:56 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote: ↑
Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:32 pm
Quite. The benefits to the global poor are probably being overstated - people who can't afford a phone, can't read, or who don't know any of the languages commonly used on the net aren't going to feel much benefit from faster download speeds.
Funding education and providing access to (and training in the use of) internet-enabled devices would be much more useful IMHO.
I participated in a project to send "obsolete"* laptops to central Africa back in the '90s. Even the oldest ones were scarfed up quickly. If they had had Internet they could have used them for more education that was available locally. The same could be done with S5 Samsungs.
*Obsolete. You know, last year's models.
A decade ago I worked in a phone shop in the UK. Customers could trade in their obsolete* models for a discount off a new one, and those that still worked were indeed generally shipped off to poor countries.
In sub-Saharan Africa there are a lot of countries where less than half of people have access to electricity. You can get a few days' use on a mobile phone after charging it for an hour or so on the village solar panel or generator, but computers require constant power that isn't always available even in urban areas, and laptops don't last that long either.
I worked in the 90s and early 00s for an international NGO (which operated, basically, in *all the counties* as far as reach
goes). One of the side projects I got involved in was starting internet cafes in South Africa to reach youth (mostly in townships) in part to help educate them. There's no doubt at all that internet access back then was quite difficult in many areas.
There's no doubt that using the internet for education was beneficial*. There's no doubt that getting PCs out there for use was also helpful (not just Africa, we sent stuff to Cuba,for instance,as well). What global satellite coverage does for those areas is to put within reach fast access to the internet for literally billions who currently don't have it. For sure there will be many people who can'rt afford their own
node, but surely the knowledge that internet connections can be shared
hasn't passed people here by? Surely it has not escaped everyone's attention that tech costs have a tendency to go down pretty rapidly over time?
People who can't afford a phone, or "can't read" get huge educational opportunities when access to the internet is increased- of course
there are also other logistical issues but where the balance lies between a few wealthy white people looking through the atmosphere at distant stars to answer largely academic (or philosophical,even) questions when they probably have better options (i.e. space telescopes) and increasing the availability of of the internet to billions of people is a pretty easy one, for me at least, to see.
There are, it should be noted, just scads of organisations moving new and old tech into developing areas; not being able to get online renders much of the equipment hard to use ime
*Again,there's probably a whole raft of studies on this which I don't have time to dig out right now, but given arguments are made that impoverished people should be given free internet access (broadband even), suggesting developing countries don't need it is pretty dissonant.
The half-truths, repeated, authenticated themselves.