Saturday, October 01, 2011

Internet for All?

Recently, I stumbled upon a website called "A Human Right". It begins with the following screen:

"If you can read this you are very lucky."

On the website, they say that "Our vision is to connect all people by creating and stewarding a freely available decentralized global system of communication." Basically, they want to do something about the fact that five billion people do not have access to the internet; to that end, their latest initiative is to try and "buy a satellite and grant internet access to millions."

It's a simple enough concept. Access to information is a basic human right; the Internet is the single greatest hub of information. Put the two together: give access to the Internet to billions, using satellite technology.

As much as I admire the spirit of this enterprise, I fear they are misguided, on two fronts. One is the issue of language, and the other is that of technical feasibility.