Work We Love: Ford Foundation’s #PublicInterestTech Videos

The Ford Foundation is publishing a brilliant series of videos about technology for the greater good. The movement is spearheaded by Susan Crawford, author and Harvard Law professor. Crawford is part of a growing community working to make technology serve the greater good. Ford Foundation call it #PublicInterestTech!

Read more at fordfoundation.org/tech  but before you do that, watch the video below!

Internet access is an indispensable determining factor when it comes to opportunities and resources. Susan Crawford convincingly argues that government, not the private sector, are essential players when it comes to providing public services.

“My fear is that we’ve lost the idea that government actually helps people have better lives.” — Susan Crawford, author of Fiber and Captive Audience

VPUU- how we are addressing the digital divide!

It is something we at VPUU fully support. We have been incrementally adding public wifi to the areas we work in. We need to address, as developmental agents, the growing digital divide. This is not only about access, or the cost of the internet, but about the type of services and content that people in different communities can access and produce.

Public Wifi in Lotus Park

There are no telephone lines in Lotus park and zero fibre connections. Having set up a wireless link to a local high site to connect the Lotus Park Neighbourhood Centre (see video below)  we ws decided to make the signal public. Now more than 500 people a week use that lifeline to meet their internet needs. Since 2016 more than 12 Tb of data has travelled across the small network. At current mobile data rates this equates to a delivered value of R1,25 million for a cost of R60,000.

Currently, our plan is to grow the network in our areas but also develop the option to produce rather than to simply consume what the internet has to offer.

Read more about our ICD4D projects