Consortium plans computer kiosks for rural India, by Eric Auchard

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Supporters of the project say they hope the Karnataka pilot will become a blueprint for setting up similar rural business centers in each village kiosk. Comat is working to digitize rural land records in stats across India.

India has an estimated 147,000 rural villages.

“We see this as the ’rural services’ blueprint for populations in developing nations everywhere,” Kish said.

The consortium is one of several Indian projects seeking to tackle the intractable issues underlying the world’s “digital divide” between information “haves” and “have-nots.”

Last month, India’s Encore Software, the company previously behind the $200 handheld “Simputer,” said it planned to start selling a $230 Linux-software based “mobile desktop.” Digital Partners and ITC Ltd. have similar low-cost projects.

Wyse has more than one third of the world market for so-called thin-client computer terminals. Each device has no moving parts. The plan is for each machine to carry roughly 256 megabytes of flash memory, enough to run a royalty-free software system such as Linux or Wyse’s in-house software.

The cost of each Wyse terminal will be $250, Kish said.
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Source: Reuters UK