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It's really easy for anyone in the developed world to get on to the internet in any city - I'm writing this page while drinking coffee in a public bar in central York, UK, accessing the internet via a wireless hot spot that the bar provides for its customers.

That's no use for anyone who isn't in a city in the developed world however, so what opportunity is there for this vast majority of the world's inhabitants?

There are two organisations which can help - both by providing access and by providing a model for communities to copy around the world.

Here are their links:

The first of these works in this way: A bicycle rickshaw, decorated like a Hindu temple carriage, actually carries a computer and wireless network in a bag behind the saddle. The rider cycles around from village to village in the Uttar Pradesh region of India, and provides the means for villagers to access the internet. He has the equipment ready to go and can supply training and guidance for new users. Villagers run webcams at home which allow access to distance learning opportunities from around the world. (Or, access to WorldHealer, needless to say). As an add on, the bike also has diagnostic equipment for common medical problems, so that you can find out why you've been getting sick as well as surf the net. If we needed to find out about the technology that provides this access, we need to track down Yury Gitman's knowledge. He was the inventor in New York who made the Magic Bike, which can provide free internet access wherever it's parked - at a concert, at an art gallery, at an emergency site, at a hospital, at a public demonstration.

Meanwhile in Tibet, some Yak farmers in remote areas are keeping in touch with family and friends using the internet via a Wi-Fi connection. These farmers are also using the resource for trade and for medical support. Nahabir Pun was given computers for his school and this project grew out of his interest in getting online using this hardware. Wireless was the only possibility, and now signals are provided by a server thirty miles away to a relay station run by solar power, up a tree, on a mountain. Another, second relay station, also powered by the sun and backed up by a wind turbine, distributes to and receives signal from five nearby villages.

There's an online magazine which supports IT and development, called Bytes For All

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