Connecting the unconnected

Connecting the unconnected

This week Digital Planet looks into connecting the unconnected there is a stark difference in internet connectivity in some parts of the World.

The Digital Divide in Tribal Communities Across the North American continent, there is a stark difference in the availability of the internet to different communities.

This programme is available NOW On Demand on the Digital Planet Page and is available now until Wednesday the 21st of September. It will also be broadcast on Sunday the 18th of September in Phuket on 91.5 FM and 102.5 FM and Online via the Internet radio portals.

Tribal lands are typically remote, rural, and rugged landscapes, and often have very patchy, or non-existent internet connectivity. Connecting the unconnected can present many challenges and creates a digital divide.

Dr Traci Morris explains why such a digital divide exists and how tribes are working together, both within their communities and with each other, to create and gain access to communications networks.

Punjab in Pakistan

Digital Deras connecting farmers in rural Pakistan. In rural Punjab in Pakistan, farmers and villagers gather in places called ‘Deras’ to socialise, drink tea and coffee and discuss their farms.

But one project has created a community network to transform one of these Deras to have digital facilities – a ‘Digital Dera’. An initiative to digitalize the agriculture sector in remote fertile lands of South Punjab by providing a community internet network to local farmers.

Farmers use this Digital Dera to access crucial weather forecasts and other information to help them manage their farms more efficiently. It also helps them battle the impact of climate change, as the crop cycles change due to shifting weather patterns.

Founders of the project Fouad Bajwa and Aamer Hayat speak to Gareth about the impact of the Digital Dera project on the farming community.

Offline interview in Cuba.

Cuba is one of the least digitally connected countries in the Western hemisphere. Connecting the unconnected in Cuba is a major challenge. This is due to the US trade embargo but also poor internet infrastructure and tight control of its own government on the flow of information. Although accessing digital technologies is getting better, for ordinary Cubans going online is still a challenge.

The internet connection is slow, unreliable, and prohibitively expensive. To combat this, they have created an offline underground internet called ‘El Paquete Semanal’ or ‘Weekly Package’ – it is a one-terabyte collection of eclectic material of movies, tv-series, sports, and music while turning a blind eye to copyright.

Reporter Snezana Curcic visited to learn more about this Cuban alternative to broadband internet. This programme was first transmitted on Tuesday 7th June 2022.

The programme is presented by Gareth Mitchell with expert commentary from Bill Thompson. Studio Manager: Jackie Margerum Producer: Hannah Fisher

(Photo: 5G data stream running through a rural village Credit: Huber & Starke/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

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