We've all been reading news about various PC companies that
are attempting to do their part to try and get PCs and Internet access in
remote areas of the world. During the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco,
Intel CEO Paul Otellini spoke about what Intel is doing to help countries in
developing nations. The first step being taken is to get teachers familiarized
with the technology that they will be using with the class. Then, low-cost,
reliable hardware for the school is necessary. Intel has worked to educate
teachers and get the low-cost hardware that is necessary.
Intel has developed the Classmate PC -- a ~$250 notebook
that is offered to students in developing nations. Intel expects the cost of
the laptop to drop to around $200 once it begins shipping in greater numbers.
The cost could drop even further if an open source operating system such as
Linux is installed on the laptops. Although obviously not utilizing
cutting-edge hardware, the laptops do exactly what they are intended to do –
help students learn. “There is clearly a new world ahead,” Otellini said during
the IDF opening keynote. The company hopes to give away thousands of PCs and
properly train teachers across the world.
Intel has also created a wireless, high-speed Internet
network for people in an Amazonian town. The network is setup so that the
residents in Parintins, a town located on an island in the middle of the Amazon
River, can view things like educational and medical web sites online. With the
help of the Brazilian government and partnering companies, Intel was able to
install a WiMAX network in a healthcare center, Amazon University, two public
schools and a community recreational center.
It is nice to see companies trying to help spread education
and technology to regions of the world that aren't as technologically lucky as