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Here's some interesting stats on global connectivity for a sobering reminder of how far out in front of everyone else we are....
You can look at the glass as being nearly empty and decry the injustice, blah blah blah, or you can say, "Hey, I wonder if they'll pay me to fill it for them?"
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Comment from sender: Story on actual user numbers worldwide
It Takes a (Wired) Village -- Why Global Connectivity Is a Myth
Jesse Berst, Editorial Director<BR><I>ZDNet AnchorDesk</I> Tuesday, December 29, 1998
This global village we call home sure is one small place. Thanks to telephones, TVs and computer networks, it's a cinch to chat with friends in Korea, watch war in Iraq and shop at a Chilean e-tailer.
Keep in mind, though, that not every resident of our pint-sized planet is so fortunate. While we wired ones enjoy windows on the world, most of our fellow Earthlings don't even have phone service -- let alone Internet access.
I mention this disparity in connectivity not to induce guilt. But to bring the recent Internet explosion into context -- and to point out geographic challenges and opportunities. Herewith, a global guide to who's wired and who isn't:
Headcount.com: When considering e-business abroad, check this slick site to measure -- and compare -- Internet connectivity rates around the world. Headcount.com knows the score in every country from Australia (3.3 million Netizens) to Vietnam (6,000). Click for more.
Nua Internet Surveys: As its headline says, this page attempts to answer, "How many online?" Quick fact: There are 87 million Internet users in Canada and the United States, compared with less than a million in all of Africa. Click for more.
It's a Wired Wired World? Interactive Week reports that most of the world has little infrastructure and few computers through which to communicate digitally. Click for more. Among other locales, this series of stories visits:
England: Cambridge the next Silicon Valley? Click for
France: Both behind and ahead of the times. Click for more.
South Africa, Australia: Unexpected hot spots. Click for more.
Wired World Atlas: The folks at Wired magazine host a tour of the world's media use. Click for more. Among the thought-provoking highlights:
65% of the world's households don't have a phone. 71% of phone users in Cambodia are cell phone users. TV is illegal in Bhutan; VCRs, however, are OK. Click for more.
South American IT Challenges: Despite geographic proximity, neighboring countries in South America (and elsewhere) often have vastly different communications situations. For example, as this CNN story reveals, Chile boasts easy and inexpensive digital connections, while the Brazilians next-door find hook-ups "frustrating and difficult." Click for more.
Home-Grown Solutions: Here in the States, where 60 million PCs access the Net, pockets of under-served computer users remain. So what's a connectivity-challenged town to do? At least two pioneering places, in Oregon and Kentucky, are spending public-utility funds to hook up their cities:
Ashland Fiber Network: $5 million will buy speedy fiber-optic lines for 16,000 customers. Click for more. Glasgow Electric Plant Board: $3 million brought broadband access to 14,000 citizens. Click for more.
What challenges and opportunities have you encountered in under-wired countries and communities? Use the TalkBack button to share your stories. We'll post responses below.
Don't Miss These Previous Berst Alerts...
Top 12 AnchorDesk Stories of 1998
Free Gifts -- Whether You're Naughty or Nice Jesse's Favorite Web Cams
It's a Wired, Wired World -- Or Is It? - Inter@ctive Week http://www.zdnet.com/chkpt/adem2fpf/www.zdnet.com/icom/e-business/1998/12/wired.world/ Telecom Venture Investors Keep Cash Flowing - Inter@ctive Week http://www.zdnet.com/chkpt/adem2fpf/www.zdnet.com/intweek/print/980921/352572.html InternetUser: The Ultimate Internet Resource - ZDNet Products Channel http://www.zdnet.com/chkpt/adem2fpf/www.zdnet.com/products/internetuser/ Net of the North - ZDNN
Get AnchorDesk's Email Summary in Your Inbox! - ZDNet AnchorDesk http://www.zdnet.com/chkpt/adem2fpf/www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/whoiswe/subscribe.html
Jesse's Berst Alerts
http://chkpt.zdnet.com/chkpt/adem2fpf/www.anchordesk.com/topics/topics_289.html ISPs/Online Services
Live and learn
http://chkpt.zdnet.com/chkpt/adem2fpf/www.anchordesk.com/talkback/talkback_144227.html Trong Nguyen
This is definitely one of your best stories in 1998 http://chkpt.zdnet.com/chkpt/adem2fpf/www.anchordesk.com/talkback/talkback_144223.html Marcelo Negrini
You can do better
http://chkpt.zdnet.com/chkpt/adem2fpf/www.anchordesk.com/talkback/talkback_144225.html Dan Schwartz
It's the connectivity, stupid
http://chkpt.zdnet.com/chkpt/adem2fpf/www.anchordesk.com/talkback/talkback_144233.html Bill Wendel
Reminder of the income inequalities
http://chkpt.zdnet.com/chkpt/adem2fpf/www.anchordesk.com/talkback/talkback_144234.html Robert S. Duggan, Jr.
A great site