Crossing the Digital Divide

December 14, 2009

I recently read a great blog post by Tomi Ahonen on the “The Digital Divide in Numbers”  – great post, getting the numbers sorted really does bring the whole issue to life.

Tomi clearly points out the disparity between the technology adoption in industrialised countries and that in developing countries.  However, there is a silver lining .. the mobile phone.

The figures presented are staggering and really put into context why mobile technology is supporting so much social change in developing countries.  It is the only technology widely available and in peoples hands.

One of the issues that the digital divide raises for the Betavine Team is how to access and promote the work we are doing with the Betavine Social Exchange.  The BSX is a website that is attempting to reach and support local communities in the developing world with their ICT related challenges by bringing them together with mobile developers and local entrepreneurs.  This presents a challenge in terms of the penetration of PCs and internet access.  However, we are targetting local NGOs as community partners on the understanding that they do have PCs and internet access.

We are currently considering the feedback we have got in terms of low bandwidth support and mobile support.  With limited resources we have to focus on those things that will really help to get the concept working.

One key aspect to the BSX is being able to support local entrepreneurs in creating mobile related businesses … the statistics clearly point out that there is a massive opportunity for mobile based services in developing countries.