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Broadband Backlash: Where it Comes From and How To Fix it

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

It’s easy to find positive news about broadband. Around the globe, government studies show the link between broadband and economic benefit. On the Connected Life Exchange, more examples abound, including my recent posts Broadband: Exploring the Demographic Patterns and How Broadband Reduces Small Business Expenses.

But it’s also becoming easy to find backlash against broadband. It’s neither limited by source or geography. In some cases, politicians rail against its cost; in other cases, citizens rail against its benefits. Read More »

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Developing Commerce in Africa: Phone Company in a Box

I never thought of paint as being an important part of the engine of commerce.

That is, until I met Ueli Frei, who heads FUNDES International, an NGO that fosters economic growth among micro-businesses in Latin America. His team helped a group of independent “mom and pop” drug stores band together and operate, in many ways, as a single retailer.

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Online Streaming: Beyond The Radio Dial

By Kayvon Siadat, Guest Columnist

The addition of online streaming content has helped KSCU 103.3, Santa Clara University’s non-profit, volunteer run radio station, tremendously.  Before the radio station had this technology our listenership was limited to however far our radio signal would go, which is, give or take 30 miles in any direction.

Now with advances in technology we are able to deliver our content to anyone in the world at any time.  Currently, a big portion of our listeners use our online audio stream (computer, smart phone, etc.) and because of that we are able to bring local content to a much bigger scale now.

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London 2012: the Olympic Network (part one)

Anticipation of the upcoming summer Olympic Games has already lifted my spirits. This week I received an invitation from Andrew Millar, the British Consul General in Houston, Texas – it’s an opportunity to attend a viewing party for the opening ceremony later this month. I’m really looking forward to that event.

You may recall that in my last story, the ICT Infrastructure Investment, I shared some of the interesting high-level details about economic outcomes and seven of the the key principles that were used to develop the overall ICT solution.

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Mobile Internet Applications in Rural Africa

By Molly Mattessich, Guest Columnist

In some ways, rural countries, including those in Africa, are ahead of the United States on technology. Without the infrastructure — offices, network lines, etc. — to use the Internet in more traditional ways, they have relied on cell phones to exchange information.

According to Cisco’s recent VNI Service Adoption Forecast (VNI-SA) research, mobile commerce ranks as the second-fastest-growing consumer mobile service, increasing at a 42.7 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) globally from 2011 to 2016. The Middle East and Africa will have the second-highest number of users in 2016, reaching 424 million.

Rural farmers in Africa, for example, now often use their cell phones to check commodity prices before heading to market, helping them improve their bottom line at times when a few cents can make a huge difference. Read More »

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