I was reading this insightful article on NYTimes which talked about how Google installed a small satellite dish powered by a solar panel in a remote village in Kenya named Entasopia to link it up to the rest of the world. The work was undertaken by 3 students from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. Costing $700 a month for bandwidth charges, the dish may not cost Google much. What is moving though is the amount of flutter it causes in the community where the power of Intenret gets disseminated.
The article cites a couple of well elucidated stories as proof points.
- A crippled Masai tribesman who has been using the power of the Net to rise awareness among the old fashioned Masai tribe where crippled kid is abandoned to die and the mother is put through a ritual cleansing to banish the evil spirits that were said to have caused the disability in the child.
- A government worker in the agricultural department who uses the Internet connection to send information to district headquarters, instead of spending days traveling there and back to deliver monthly reports. These reports help him advise farmers on the environment, crop husbandry and soil conservation.