Connectivity and quality access to ICTs is essential for survival in this era of digital revolution. Mahabir Pun foresaw this in 1997, when due to his immense efforts his mountain village of Nangi in Nepal first embraced computers. By now, his initiative has evolved into Nepal Wireless Networking Project which has connected around 22 villages in rural Nepal through wireless technologies, creating new opportunities of education, agriculture, Tele-medicine and E-commerce for the villagers. In many parts of the developing world, it is still difficult to provide connectivity either through fixed infrastructure or wireless technologies.An innovative solution United Villages pioneered by Amir Alexander Hasson provides people in such rural areas of India, Cambodia asynchronous drive-by Wi-Fi through buses which deliver web content to the computers which have otherwise no direct connection to internet.
Provision of funds and required equipment is crucial for connectivity whether through sole government assistance or in partnership with private sector. Computer Technologies for Schools (CFTS) Project in Australia, Setting up of IT village and computer labs in Bangladesh are instances of government/ local assistance. Under E-gram Vishwagram Project, Gujarat Government (India) partnered with Bharty Airtel to connect panchayats and Common Service Centers (CSCs) across 13716 villages in the state. Now technology market leaders like Google, Microsoft, Intel and Cisco have also agreed to aid the project. OLPC is collaborating with many state governments in Asia Pacific region to provide low cost, connected laptops to schools in rural or underserved areas. Through OLPC India, two government organizations and one private-sector entity placed a 250,000 XO laptop order which will be distributed 1500 schools. Altai Technologies Limited provided wireless connectivity support to OLPC charity project in Bhutan.
Technology service providers companies have been collaborating with governments, other companies and international organizations in serving the communities’ connectivity needs. Intel (r) Rural Connectivity Platform is a low cost solution which promises to provide efficient connectivity even in remote mountainous or rough hilly areas. Data Stream Technology (DST) Group ,Ericsson collaboration is going to provide 4000 students in four schools of Brunei high speed broadband connectivity. Nokia Siemens network has joined ITU’s Connecting villages initiative and initially they aim to connect villages in island countries of pacific region through its village connection program.