Technology and Internet Access for All

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Technology has witnessed huge leaps in the past decade; it has helped make our lives easier and more comfortable. This is the case for developed countries; but, for the developing or least developed ones, there is a gap. In such countries, technology is not a priority, as basics like food, clean water, and health care naturally come first.

Internet access is no longer a luxury; it is a major method to connect, communicate, educate, and share information around the globe. Yet, there are four billion people in the world with no Internet access; 90% of those live in least developing countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Internet access for these countries will not only enhance education and learning, but will also affect the social communication skills for users and allow vulnerable persons, such as females, to become aware of methods to obtain better health and lives.

When it comes to Internet implantation, many obstacles come in mind. As for the service itself, providers find that costs overweight the benefits, so investment in such fields is a bit risky and needs direct involvement from governments and organizations. Another obstacle is the cost of the device itself; that is why such countries should start investing in educational infrastructure through availability of Internet labs and kiosks, in schools and universities, to help students with their tasks and give them a window into the world.

Mobile phones are a major method of communication nowadays; even in the least developing countries, mobile phones are widely spread and affect people’s lives in many ways. In the healthcare field, learning and communication lead to awareness towards diseases as dangerous as HIV. In Africa, text messages are being used to spread awareness or even as reminder to take medications in case of disease outbreaks.

On the economic level, phones provided a method for Internet banking where people can save, invest and transfer money even with no banks around. Social organizations should focus on delivering technology to individuals who need it more, as students, small businesses owners, working females, farmers, seniors, retired individuals and similar vulnerable individuals. 

If used well, technology will provide a sustainable and long-term improvement for economy, through helping the poor not only be consumers, but producers too. Vulnerable people and the poor should have equal opportunities to access modern technology services and the possession of devices that will help them make their lives easier. Telecommunication companies should grant training courses for both students and workers to enhance their knowledge of technology and Internet usage, on the condition that those trainees return to their home countries after certain periods to help apply what they were taught during these courses.

The purpose is not only to train them adapt to technology, but to encourage innovation on all levels. All that said, however, we must also be aware that technology has a dark side; it needs control and measures should be taken to hinder the use of Internet in crime, especially in least developing countries.

 

References

britannica.com

borgenproject.org

skillsafrica.org

un.org

ustti.org

 

*The original article was published in SCIplanet, Autumn 2019 Issue.

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