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China's ICT Policy and Rural Area Development
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Microsoft--InfoWagons in Henan
InfoWagons in Henan
Who are in the project:
Microsoft is working with China’s
Ministry of Industry and Information Technology
and the provincial governments to extend the benefits of technology to rural populations.
What is the project about:
Leading with six InfoWagons equipped with desktop PCs and IT tutors while deployed initially in Henan and later expanding into the four additional provinces, the roving InfoWagons are to give rural villagers the opportunity to experience and learn basic PC skills.
To deliver services relevant to Chinese farmers and their families, the proposed InfoWagon pilot applications target real-life scenarios accruing to home, work and community. The concept includes PC@home to deliver healthcare information, entertainment and education; PC@work, which focuses on information browsing related to agriculture, crop prices and supply chain management; and PC@community, which focuses on an Information Center for computer training, information search, e-government and e-commerce experiences with the intention of improving the connection of China’s rural farmers with the global marketplace and the government.
Where will the project go:
The overall goal of Microsoft’s rural computing programs is to empower people by introducing them to the benefits of information and communications technologies (ICTs). And Microsoft estimates that as many as 8,000 people will get trained this way by the end of 2007. Within five years, the InfoWagons are expected to reach 6,000 villages and bring digital literacy to 150,000 people.
To sustain the digital literacy efforts initiated by the InfoWagon program, Microsoft also plans to establish a permanent Integrated Information Training Center (IITC) in Henan. Also as follow-up, a social computing environment would be created in which wealthier farmers in dozens of villages agree to host donated computers in their homes and make them available for other farmers and community members to use.
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