I have been writing about the issue of Internet access in our countries on several post and parts of them, I mention that most of the problems are caused by a lack of resources both in money and/or personnel.
Well, in one small town of Colombia this situation has been reverted, in “Castilla la Nueva” local authorities achieved a significant milestone: most of the town has wireless access to the Internet using a free service provided by the municipality.
This situation was made possible thanks to the effort of several local administrations by means of optimizing the available money, fighting corruption and by means of setting a real compromise on the education of children.
This town was a finalist in the South American contest of digital cities held in Rio de Janeiro last December 1st. Several private companies has shown their interest to help and work with this town as for example Microsoft, Intel, ETB and Telecom, the last two are phone companies that provides the best price for Internet connections.
Visit the town at this location: www.castillalanueva.gov.co
Recently, Colombia national government by its program called “computadores para educar’ donated 300 laptop computers in order to be used by children of this community, these laptops comes with a wireless modem.
What were the steps required to do this?
First: Show to the community the advantages of information technologies and serve as example of this advantages by connecting public entities, creating information systems for public processes thus providing a best service to users.
Second: Provide training to the community both in how to use the technology and how to use actual infrastructure.
Third: Allow the use of this technology as a tool to increase the level of knowledge of the community.
As a result of this steps the number of Internet users has increased in spectacular way, Internet access is free to everyone and a program to provide connection to Internet to all town is on the way.