Look, no wires!
The potential of wireless technology is exciting a lot of interest these days. 'Think Wireless A virtual miracle has appeared in the form of the handheld mobile cellular phone, and low-cost satellite links' we wrote in Spore 92 (see: 'I connect, therefore I am'). 'Wireless: A helpline for agricultural development?' was the theme of the annual consultative expert meeting of the CTA Observatory on ICTs information and communication technologies - for Agricultural Development in ACP countries (www.agricta.org/observatory), held at CTA headquarters from 30 May to 1 June 2001. A roster of expert speakers shared experiences and perspectives on the new affordable applications which are emerging from a new generation of high-tech, small-scale and simple to use systems for two-way access to the Internet via satellite which are now entering the market. Tempting they are to an institution with a sturdy cash flow, or with the potential to share the service with several users, but, the Observatory observed, they are not the universal solution. Regulations, infrastructure, maintenance and the technical maturity of operators all have to be considered. The meeting also looked at the impact of high speed Internet access on relationships between CTA and its partners. They noted that training and new procedures would be necessary to prepare partners for their emerging roles not only as facilitators and brokers, but also in providing local information. Full report: www.agricta.org/observatory
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Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation
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