The New Public Sphere

While reading about developing wireless technologies, I was again reminded of the incredible copper and fiber optic network which holds together the United States. Just as our country has become increasingly more dependent on internet resources,  other developing countries will likely become dependent and wireless technology will offer a much cheaper solution . Entrepreneurs are not the only ones who can benefit from the new capabilities that come with being provided access to the world wide web. Even villages that rely completely on agriculture will benefit from the ability to find and share information about their crops, weather patterns and medical treatments.

As these new technologies develop, I find it imperative that national governments help to ensure that it is in the best interest of their citizens but not make unneeded restrictions or profits. Much like public schools and hospitals, information centers that are connected to world wide web are becoming  a fundamental pillar to civilization. The major challenge in providing universal access to cyberspace are language barriers. Fortunately, most computers are able to overcome this and provide translations in many common languages which will enable nearly everyone to participate in the new public sphere. With technologies like wi-fi and cellular internet, the world wide web is becoming less of a luxury and more of a public space. Even here in the U.S., wireless technologies such as our local provider, Clearwire, provide the cheapest solution for people who live in areas that are not connected via land line.

1. What would be the advantages of developing countries building wireless networks and providing computers instead of schools?

2. How can governments support universal access and cause it to drive economic development?

3. How do you envision the expansion of wireless networks? will there always be a fee associated with accessing the internet or will communities decide that it is too important of a resource to limit those who cannot afford it?

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