|Chapter 6: Identifying Appropriate Technologies
6.1. Queries to the Telecenter Help Desk
We only have four or five hours of electricity on a given day. We can’t afford a generator, and we haven’t been able to find a donor willing to provide funding for a solar system. What are our alternatives? What are some examples of successful power solutions for shared-access facilities?
We’re planning the deployment of a network of telecenters and information centers in rural areas of the country. The plan is for the telecenters to have at least 10 networked computers sharing the telecenter’s connectivity. These telecenters will serve as information hubs for the information centers that will have two computers each with no connectivity. We’ve been talking to a number of rural connectivity experts, but we’re not experts ourselves and we don’t know how to compare what they are proposing? So our question to the Help Desk is this: What rural connectivity options should we be looking at, and what criteria can we use to assess the proposals put before us?
If the government’s goal is to establish a telecenter in every district of the country, how cost effective is it going to be to set up connectivity solutions for each of the telecenters individually, based on available infrastructure, versus expanding connectivity throughout the country and having telecenters as one of many clients?
6.2. Technology Packages
Since telecenters come in many different forms, their technology requirements also vary a great deal. However, whether it is a one-PC kiosk operated by a single individual or a fully equipped multimedia capable telecenter with 20 PCs, the technology issues are similar. A telecenter’s “technology package” consists of four interlocking systems: