Intel boosts developing world technology access

Intel Corporation has announced it will invest more than $1 billion over the next five years in a programme to provide access to technology and education for people in the world’s developing communities.

Intel Corporation has announced it will invest more than $1 billion over the next five years as part of the Intel World Ahead Programme, which aims to provide access to technology and education for people in impoverished communities.

To boost accessibility, it will create opportunities for widespread ownership and use of PCs through affordability, access and content, including the development of fully featured, affordable PCs tailored to regional needs.

Connectivity will be enhanced through expanding wireless broadband Internet access, including the promotion of WiMAX trials and deployments.

Education will be provided to prepare students for success in the global economy through education programmes and resources, including professional development for teachers worldwide.

The five-year objectives of the World Ahead Programme are to extend broadband PC access to the world’s next billion users while training 10 million more teachers on the use of technology in education and with the possibility of reaching another 1 billion students.

“Decades of providing technology in growing volume and at decreasing costs have driven great gains for developing nations, communities and people worldwide, but there is still much to do,” said Paul Otellini, Intel president and chief executive officer. “While affordability of PCs is crucial, the World Ahead Programme goes beyond simple cost to develop the right systems tailored to local needs, drive critical connectivity, cultivate sustainable local capabilities and provide the quality education needed to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.”

One Intel scheme that has succeeded in these aims is its Discover the PC initiative that develops full-featured, low-cost PC technology tailored for people in developing regions. The company now plans to develop six more geographically tailored PCs designs worldwide in the next two years, following on the recently introduced Intel-powered Community PC in India.

By combining the individual efforts in accessibility, connectivity and education, Intel aims to create more opportunities to make fully featured PCs and high-speed Internet access available to schools in developing nations, along with training for teachers on how to integrate the technology into their teaching. Intel itself is donating 100,000 PCs to classrooms in developing nations in order to improve teaching and learning.