Telco is appreciative of our fortunate circumstances and as Global Citizens we understand it is the responsibility of all who share this world to contribute towards making it better place to live. To this end Telco actively seeks avenues where we can contribute towards greater connectivity, especially between people without readily available means to do so themselves. An inspiring program that Telco wholeheartedly endorses is WNDW (Wireless Networking in the Developing World). On the recommendations of its managers the company can enact protocols that provide permission to supply RF equipment at cost price to charity organisations based in Australia. In addition to this Telco will often donate equipment and consultancy services outright and has also performed complete installations pro bono. Another major initiative is to provide a second life to RF equipment retired from service either from transmission sites that have been decommissioned, equipment upgrades or products that have sustained damage during environmental events etc. Many devices work as per their original specifications however have been replaced during upgrades to make use of the data rates offered by new technology. Other equipment such as damaged antennas can be stripped and cannibalized for components to be used in other systems. Telco provide these completely free of charge to communities in developing nations and also subsidies the freight costs. Logistically it is a challenge for wealthy developed nations to provide an all encompassing cable service to all locations and this problem is compounded even more when dealing with the severe budget constraints that are present in developing regions. Outside of dense urban areas it is, financially, much more viable to provide 'last mile' connectivity via wireless communication equipment. Since the United Nations recognised the 'Right To Internet Access' after the 2011 UN Special Rapporteur Report mandated by the United Nations Human Rights Council, it has been stated that connectivity is a fundamental human right. Statistics presented by the Broadband Commission in the 2015 State Of Broadband Report released on 21 September 2015 in Geneva show the enormous challenge facing developing nations. The report highlights can be viewed here. Some concerning information presented recently by the United Nations (UNESCO) regarding internet access is:
- Due to a lack of access 57%, more than 4 billion people, still do not use the internet regularly or actively.
- In the developing world, 25% fewer women have internet access than men, that number jumps up to 50% in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa
- 90% of the population of the world’s poorest 48 countries remain entirely offline.
- Although the challenge of advancing connectivity around the world is great, Telco is committed to contributing where it can whether locally or internationally.
The interactive map below shows communication technology prevalence throughout the world and graphically illustrates the regions that are most in need of connectivity.