World Information Society Day: Go Pinko WiFi with micro enterprise and micro finance

Today is World Information Society Day as declared by the 140 year old International Telecom Union.
While it is hijacked by big guys like

  • telecom players( BSNL releasing a 4 page ad to promote iteslf) or
  • poster child IT majors( Infosys getting mielage for its Campus Connect recuritment drive masqurade as an effort to serve ICT to underserved!)
  • Let me share my thought on equity through Pinko WiFi.

    This thought was motivated by the Self Help Group supported/youth operated Soup stands that sprang up in Chennai recently. They offer delicious, healthy and steamy soup, and the minimal equipment needed to boot strap the offering were procured through micro finance. And they are an instant hit and pocketing handsome profit.

    Why not offer WiFi the same way? Why wait for the big telecom vendor to work out his numbers and roll it out in phases?

    The idea is simple: Use the self help group(SHG) fromat, micro finance, micro enterprise model to encourage motivated youths to by WiFi access points and wireless internet connection. Let them setup points of presence at strategic locations and offer WiFi connections for a charge. They can make roaring business by renting wifi enabled access hardware like Palm Tero or Windows Mobile.

    Boot Phase: They can boot their operation by getting a clientele base that has time to kill. And disposable cash to spend. Moving train, rail terminal comes to mind immediately. Let us look at the moving train. Say in a train like Brindhavan Express, between Chennai and Bangalore which is used by a lot of computer savvy crowd this can be tried out and expanded to other trains. If you buy a ticket and travel as a passenger I dont think anyone can object to you carrying WiFi equipment in the train( especially if it is compact). Invest in a few WiFi access points. Invest a WireLess connection that works. And spread the wonders of WiFi for one and all: Profit from it.

    Summary: Spread the wonders of WiFi and boot a micro finance, micro enterprise based WiFi access business network based on Self Help Group Model. Something like a STD/ISD boot of the last era. Bridge the digital divide and create equity in the process.
    As usual cortoon courtesy Hugh
    wifi happy

    Update: Kribs the charismatic Blogger and a Sport from Chennai has an excellent suggestion for Company in India to earn goodwill and mindshare. Stating how google got excellent coverage from its free WiFi initiative, he is asking companies to take the cue from there. It will be a major hit at places with huge floating population like Tirupathi. In Tirupathi there is a lot of waiting, and people have time to kill. Doing WiFi there makes a lot of business sense. And there is always the grace of Lord Balaji who will return wealth multi-fold for someone doing their bit for his abode.

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    About labsji

    I blog, Therefore I exist ! Funny things are funny to me. Cool things are cool to me. Innovations tick me. I attempt spirituality religiously :)
    This entry was posted in Chennai, International Telecom Union, ITU, Uncategorized, World Information Society Day. Bookmark the permalink.

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