Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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Extending the Internet’s Magic

September 13th, 2004 · 1 Comment

Atanu Dey writes about what we are working to enable as part of Emergic:

The internet is huge. It is bigger than one can imagine. We are fortunate that we have access to the internet. And I feel for those who do not have access to this astounding wealth of information and possible source of wonder, amazement, delight, instruction, and possibly enlightenment.

How do we bring down the barriers that prevent everyone from accessing the internet? Cost of access has to come down significantly from the present levels, and incomes have to go up. In other words, the internet has to become more affordable. Cost of access has two components from the point of view of the user. First, the user premises equipment. Currently, that happens to be the PC. While hardware prices are consistently coming down, they are still beyond the reach of a very large number of people. Besides, software is not all that cheap. Add to that the cost of managing a complex device like the PC, and the total cost of ownership is a pretty sum.

The second component of the cost of access to the internet is the connectivity cost. The trend is downward but not fast enough. For India, we need to have a rational broadband policy.

If we could somehow bring down the cost of the access device and the cost of broadband access, we can make the magic of the internet available to a much larger number. The former we can do by moving away from the PC paradigm. For the latter, we can only hope and pray that somehow good sense will triumph over the obstructionist instincts of the Indian policy makers.

Tags: Emergic

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