Digital technology offers unprecedented means to transmit, store, and utilize information. While a growing number of individuals and communities are able to benefit in numerous ways from the expanded opportunities that new technologies offer, there are nonetheless many populations and regions where Internet capabilities are weak to non-existent, resulting in loss of educational, cultural, economic, research, and social development. A growing number of independent organizations and individuals are devoting efforts to solving this problem of access to digital information to underserved populations. While making enormous headway, such organizations are often unaware of other efforts, opportunities, and technical advances that could be leveraged.
On January 31st, twenty-five practitioners from around the world met at Arizona State University to explore possible synergies and the formation of a consortium to provide offline Internet services for communities without access to such services and as backup when Internet fails. Learn more about the summit here.
Upon the conclusion of the summit, participants agreed on a Tempe Declaration.