Rural Peru’s Transition to Wireless Internet: A Case Study on the Challenges and Potentials of ICT Entrepreneurship in the Developing World

By Audubon Dougherty.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper presents findings from a video documentary (shot in the summer of 2009) analyzing the situation of Internet entrepreneurs in very rural areas of the Andes and Central Amazon regions in Peru. In 2007, the Peruvian government granted subsidies to telecommunications companies to provide wireless Internet connections to remote areas; select villagers became entrepreneurs, selling cattle or taking out loans to start Internet ‘cabinas’ in their stores and homes. This study explores the current state of that initiative, focusing on the social effects of Internet implementation in areas previously cut off from all forms of communication. It articulates many villagers’ desire to improve their communities, expand communication and further educational opportunities. Finally, this study outlines the educational, business and social potential of wireless development if more funding, technical assistance and ICT training is made available by corporations, telecoms and government agencies – and identifies potential solutions based on community needs and existing technologies.

Keywords: ICT, Video, Internet, Development, Entrepreneurship, Peru

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp.119-124. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 581.639KB).

Audubon Dougherty

Graduate Student/Civic Media Resarcher, Center for Future Civic Media, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Audubon Dougherty is a filmmaker and digital activist interested in the role of media in international development. She is a graduate student in Comparative Media Studies at MIT and a researcher for MIT’s Center for Future Civic Media, investigating models of collaborative multimedia production across borders for refugee and low-income youth, and the ways mobile technologies can be used to encourage civic participation. With a degree in Anthropology and a focus on visual culture (Smith College), she worked in communications for human rights and labor rights organizations for several years where she helped organize, document and assess development projects for communities in Southeast Asia, Peru and the United States.

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