Shared Access for the Networked Society
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Many developing countries must rely on shared-access models to ensure affordable connectivity and use of ICT tools (UNCTAD, 2003; Fillip and Foote, 2007). Community telecenters (also known as public Internet access points or PIAP, information centers, kiosks, cybercafé, and multipurpose telecenters) have increasingly become critical components of broader strategies to deliver universal access and extend connectivity to rural, disadvantaged, and remote areas in developing and transitional countries. Even more importantly, telecenters are emerging as vital development and poverty reduction platforms. They can serve as means to deliver government services to poor and rural regions, provide vital information and new business opportunities for SMEs, and enable community-driven development through enhancing participation and capacity building at the grassroots level.