Friday, January 14, 2005

Internet for the rural masses

After the AP Government's drive towards broadband villages, BSNL and ISRO are getting into the act too, planning to bring the Internet into far-flung and remote villages via satellites.

For ISRO, who have always tried to fulfill Vikram Sarabhai's vision of utilizing space to help uplift India's rural masses, this should be a golden opportunity. Previously there was an attempt to use satellites to beam educational programs into villages. Obviously this attempt was not a roaring success. But today the Internet provides an opportunity like little else has before. A range of solutions are today available over the Internet that would provide much needed services to the rural masses at little cost. To a certain extent the Internet can indeed revolutionize life in our villages.

Meanwhile at the launch of BSNL's broadband Internet services in Chennai, Union IT minister Maran also declared that computers at Rs 10,000 would soon be available. Though even these would be too expensive for a typical rural household, it should give a boost to kiosks at least.