Big Brother might not have liked Dr. A.T Ariyaratne. When visited Google headquarters, Sri Lanka’s Savrodaya leader was shown a central system that tracked every Google search and displayed the aggregate outcome in a huge globe. Dr. Ariyaratne’s first reaction was shock. He thought about the immense possibilities the omnipotent technology offers to Big Brother. Isn’t somebody tracking all our information needs too scary? Will that be post-modern form of information slavery? He is still waiting for answers.
Yesterday’s workshop – ‘Know your Broadband’ – LIRNEasia jointly organized with Sarvodaya’s ICT for Development arm Fusion too promoted a monitoring system, but the similarities ended there. Instead of Big-Brotherly approach our AT-Tester (developed jointly with a team from IIT Madras) depends on Public Source Computing (an arm of Distributed Computing or Grid Comuting). There is no central control. Each volunteer does his/her monitoring and feed the individual data to a central web site – open to public.
What does that mean? Visualise the map of Sri Lanka. Pick a district of your choice. Click to see the broadband quality parameters of different packages at different times of the day. We are hardly there yet, but that is our aim. The outstation telecenter operators who participated yesterday’s workshop were only a tiny section of the growing regional broadband users. They will ensure the system up and data accurate.
More information to follow, but if you are curios here is the link: www.broadbandasia.info