Growing the Information Economy

November 28, 2007 19:20 by davidm

Reading Jeffrey Sach's book on poverty -> resonance of points. Injection of funds has the propensity to accelerate the return on those funds once a critical level is reached.

Internet permeation in Australia - have's, have nots due to Economic & Geophysical issues. East Coast etc - distances & outback groups.

One approach:

Every single household, village, community centre in Australia can apply for an ADSL / WIMAX internet connection that is capped at 12MBps and 500MB of data which is indexed annually according to government legislation. These connections are provided free of charge to the end user. Once the cap is reached, speed should be reduced to 64KBps for the rest of the month as is common practice. Uploads should be counted in this quota to prevent free-for-all p2p traffic.

If the speed requirement or the data requirement of the end user is greater, then service providers can charge market rates as appropriate plus a minimum tariff fee set by the government, say $10 per connection. This tariff is put towards the overall cost of providing the free service. If the tariff is placed across ALL internet connections, then market rates will determine the supply & demand for the additional services.

The key point is that every person in Australia has access to broadband at a minimum level - enough for web browsing and email.

The second component is obviously a PC for access. I would suggest a national interest free loan that can be applied for that will support the $400 purchase price of the OLPC (and only the OLPC). The loan is means tested and is limited to one loan, per person, per household every five years. For people on welfare or low-income earners a tiered approach for repayments would occur (say $3 per fortnight).

The second key point is that every person in Australia can have access to their own personal laptop with very basic internet and core features.

The third key point is that the large number of OLPCs purchased will result in huge scales of economy which will reduce the pricing, and make servicing and community based support easy.

The fourth key point is that by purchasing OLPCs - one will be donated to the third world for every one purchased in Australia. This is a massive contribution worldwide to improving education and literacy amongst people who cannot afford it (think bundled education software and learning videos).

Finally, the sheer increase in the number of the people participating in the information economy will result in much more online discussion, development, creation and stimulate growth in things like onlines services, online democracy.


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January 31. 2023 13:24