Upcoming event: If mobile phones killed the telecentre, what is next for public internet access?

TASCHA is excited to announce that we’ll be participating in an upcoming event on public access ICTs, hosted by the Center for Collaborative Technologies at IREX in partnership with Kurante. Below is a description of the event (originally posted on ICTworks by Wayan Vota); space is limited, so if you’d like to join us in DC for this event, please RSVP now. Back at the dawn of the digital divide conversation, leading organizations invested in telecentres — public spaces where people could access computers and learn about the internet. Fast forward to today, where billions have a personal internet in their pocket and use Facebook daily, and there is a real question if we still need public access internet services in the age of the mobile phone. The conclusion of

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TASCHA’s report on “Why public access ICTs matter” is that we do, in fact, still need public access venues for the millions of people around the world who lack private access to the internet’s ever-increasing cornucopia of vital information and services. For many, digital inclusion is found at their local public access ICT venue — a school, a library, a cybercafé, or yes, a telecentre. But that’s today’s model of public access, an environment of ever increasing budgetary pressures, rapid advances in technology, and changes in human and societal interactions with technology. We should be asking:

  • What will tomorrow’s public access venue look like? Or will we even need one?
  • Where is the end game for all digital divides? Is it a library or cybercafé? Would government even be involved?
  • Could we get beyond access with Google Glasses for all, connected to free internet by wandering balloons and drones with lasers?
  • Or is digital inclusion an illusion, and internet access a human right we must always fight for?

Please RSVP now to join us in a Deep Dive on the state of digital inclusion and what it might take us to get beyond access. To help us navigate where we are headed, we’ll have five thought leaders sharing their knowledge and opinions:

Please RSVP now to join this active, practical event. We’ll have an overview of the state of public access and its usage across schools, libraries, cybercafes, and telecentres, a lively brainstorming on what the future of access might look like, and small teams creating frameworks for how to get us from the present to the future. Note that this event is in-person only, and RSVP is required to attend. The Future of Public Access
IREX Tech Deep Dive
8:30 am -12:30pm
Thursday, May 22nd
Washington, DC, 20005
We will have hot coffee and a catered breakfast for a morning rush, but seating is limited – RSVP now, before its too late.