The world is awash in telecenter pilots.  I thought all the lessons that could be learned, have been learned.  Apparently not.  Google is bankrolling another pilot in Kenya, including a USD 700/month broadband bill.  So, for sustainability we’d need around 700 users spending a tad more than USD 2 per visit?
In internal discussions, I had expressed skepticism about Facebook/Linked In type services for anything other than social interactions.  But it looks like I am being slowly proven wrong! In India, Poverty Inspires Technology Workers to Altruism – New York Times Manohar Lakshmipathi does not own a computer. In fact, in India workmen like Mr. Manohar, a house painter, are usually forbidden to touch clients’ computers.
Miguel Helft October 11, 2007, New York Times For more than two years, a large group of engineers at Google have been working in secret on a mobile-phone project. As word of their efforts has trickled out, expectations in the tech world for what has been called the Google phone, or GPhone, have risen, the way they do for Apple loyalists before a speech by Steve Jobs. But the GPhone is not likely to be the second coming of the iPhone and Google’s goals are very different from Apple’s. Google wants to extend its dominance of online advertising to the mobile internet, a small market today but one that is expected to grow rapidly. It hopes to persuade wireless carriers and mobile-phone makers to offer phones based on its software, according to people briefed on the project.
Many think that VoIP is the solution to all telecom problems. It is a solution, but not to all problems. It does not give you something for nothing, in the long run, though in the short term, something may be had for almost nothing. The articles describes the problems faced by VoIP operators in the US, where the basic infrastructure is already in place. In countries of the South, we have to keep in mind that the fiber has not been laid; the households have not all been connected; etc.